IDDSI or the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative, is well underway in the USA. Facilities are in various stages of the implementation process. Some early adopters are successfully navigating their way through these new updates while others are waiting for the dust to settle before moving forward with the new process. Two key concepts to keep in mind when navigating the implementation process:
1.) IDDSI is an added description but not a new prescription. This does not change the diagnosis of dysphagia nor the need for a modified consistency intervention. IDDSI does provide measurable criteria to ensure patients are receiving consistency menu items as required for their prescribed dietary needs. IDDSI helps translate the dysphagia diet requirements from objective needs to subjective. With specific testing protocols and critical testing measures we are able to definitively state whether a menu item meets the requirements for that IDDSI level or not. Flow tests, particle size and fork pressure evaluations are all part of the evaluation process to assess level qualifications and overall safety. While these measures do add detail to the production process, they also ensure menu items meet the qualifications on each designated level and can be evaluated by food service staff, clinicians or caregivers.
2.) From a facility perspective, although IDDSI now technically has 10 total levels (with cross over for levels 3 and 4 in the food and liquid categories) plus the sub category, easy to chew, facilities are not required to provide every level of IDDSI offered. It is important to evaluate the needs of your patients as well as your abilities in your kitchen and their resources and develop a menu that meets all of your needs. Products for Level 4 pureed can also be used for level 5 and 6 if needed. Level 1, slightly thick will likely not be commonly used in the adult setting often so it may not be a part of your menu offerings.
Determining what your needs are, what recipes currently align with IDDSI guidelines and where your gaps are will assist in a smooth transition. Medtrition offers a variety of dimensionally shaped puree foods that all align with IDDSI level 4, pureed. The diversity of the product line makes it easy to meet the requests of even the pickiest of eaters.
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For more information regarding IDDSI click HERE