Country Terrace IDDSI team attends workshop to help prepare for upcoming framework implementation

The Country Terrace IDDSI team is seen here during a recent workshop in London, Ont. hosted by Complete Purchasing.

NCM Alex Achillini says workshop will help team be proactive about staying ahead of the curve

Country Terrace’s nine-member International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) team attended a Sept. 19 workshop hosted by Complete Purchasing to help prepare the Komoka long-term care home for when IDDSI is fully implemented by OMNI Health Care’s 18 long-term care homes in January.

OMNI is adopting the IDDSI framework to help enhance quality by standardizing the language surrounding food thickness for residents with dysphagia, the medical term for swallowing difficulty.

The implementation process began in early 2017 and is expected to be complete in January. At the core of the framework is an eight-level scale, numbered zero to seven, measuring the thickness of food. Zero refers to thin liquids, like water or fruit juices; Level 7 is regular food.

“The goal (of attending the workshop) was to listen to the Complete Purchasing IDDSI team … to get more detail from people who are working all day with IDDSI so they have a good understanding from an operational point of view,” says Country Terrace nutritional care manager (NCM) Alex Achillini.

“For my team to hear why this is important and why we are using this method and why it’s the right way of doing things from someone who has been there and done (the work) gives people more confidence.”

IDDSI is gaining momentum worldwide. Part of the workshop, which was held in London, Ont., was spent learning about where countries are at in terms of implementing the framework, Alex says.

This was important, the NCM adds, because it helped the team understand the issues jurisdictions around the world have faced during implementation.

“This will help us be prepared and learn from the mistakes other people went through,” Alex says. “It was a great learning experience for all of us.”

Alex says the workshop also included discussions about food textures, and the team even learned about a recipe for minced bread that people with dysphagia can enjoy.

“The minced texture from IDDSI doesn’t allow for the residents (to have bread), so they came up with a recipe that’s really easy and when you eat the bread it will melt in your mouth. We learned that and I am waiting to get that recipe.”

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