Medline and Spectramed to Expand Dysphagia Therapy Technology in Post-Acute Care Sector
Collaboration combines products, clinical education to customize patient treatment plans and help reduce hospital readmissions
By Stacy Rubenstein | June 9, 2021
Medline and Spectramed today announced an exclusive collaboration to optimize patient outcomes around the treatment of dysphagia, the difficulty of swallowing, and related muscle weakness. Medline will sell the company’s therapy devices that utilize neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and surface electromyography (sEMG) combined with biofeedback to help individualize treatment for patients. Spectramed’s offerings also provide an efficient 30-minute treatment protocol.
“Speech-language pathologists play an integral role in the holistic health of respiratory care patients. By leveraging the clinical expertise of valuable partners like Spectramed, we can have a positive impact in offering customizable approaches for a patient’s clinical needs and provide ongoing training opportunities that help therapists advance their skills to enhance care outcomes,” said Brian Garner, vice president of Medline’s Therapy and Rehabilitation division.
As the country’s aging population increases, so has the prevalence of patients with dysphagia. In fact, dysphagia can impact up to 68% of nursing home residents. Dysphagia has also been prevalent in ICU patients with COVID-19 respiratory issues. Speech-language pathologists often lack tools to provide objective data to track patient progress. Spectramed offers a treatment solution that provides patients with biofeedback to help improve motor control while providing data to improve documentation. The exclusive distribution partnership focuses on the following electrotherapy training devices:
- Spectramed Classic SwallowStim: A simple, easy-to-use NMES modality that can be added to customized speech programs.
- Spectramed Guardian Unity™ SwallowStim: Taking the versatility of NMES and combining it with preprogrammed protocols, including a 30-minute treatment protocol.
- Spectramed Guardian Aspire2 SwallowStim: Utilizing the power of NMES and sEMG with biofeedback, the device includes customized and preprogrammed protocols, including a 30-minute treatment.
Expanding electrotherapy training
Through the collaboration, Medline and Spectramed are also providing essential education to speech language pathologists to drive empowerment in dysphagia management. They can access American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) accredited education through Spectramed’s online education platform, and can connect live with clinical experts that developed the courses.
“The impact dysphagia has on our patients and the healthcare system is tremendous. With speech language pathologists playing a critical role in patient care, our Guardian Way Protocol, which combines clinical products and education, provides them with a patient-centered treatment with proven clinical outcomes that can help reduce unnecessary hospitalizations,” said Dr. David Hutchings, Spectramed chief operations officer and licensed speech-language pathologist.
Visit the Medline Newsroom for a recent interview with Dr. Hutchings on the evolving role of speech-language pathologists, and how the increase in dysphagia numbers will influence the industry’s approach to care plans. Dr. Hutchings and Medline are also collaborating on upcoming webinars on June 29 and July 13 to help caregivers advance their skills in dysphagia treatment. Topics covered will include facility benefits to a strong dysphagia program, ways to improve patient outcomes in speech therapy, and the benefits of incorporating modalities into a speech therapy plan of care.
Learn more about Medline’s therapy solutions at www.medline.com/go/therapy.
Medline is a healthcare company: a manufacturer, distributor and solutions provider focused on improving the overall operating performance of healthcare. Medline works with both the country’s largest healthcare systems and independent facilities across the continuum of care to provide the clinical and supply chain resources required for long-term financial viability in delivering high quality care. With the size of one of the country’s largest companies and the agility of a family-owned business, Medline is able to invest in its customers for the long-term and rapidly respond with customized solutions. Headquartered in Northfield, Ill., Medline has 27,000+ employees worldwide, a fleet of more than 1,200 trucks and does business in more than 125 countries. Learn more about Medline at www.medline.com.
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