Alliance Founding Members

ALLIANCE COMMENTARY

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May 28 2013
Our Critical Mission: Addressing Malnutrition in Hospitalized Patients
Gary Fanjiang, MD, MBA, MS

With the U.S. healthcare system in the midst of significant changes, the value of nutrition has never been higher, yet it is often overlooked and undervalued. As such, the issue of malnutrition in hospitalized patients is becoming widespread. With 1 in 3 patients entering the hospital malnourished,1-3 clinicians must come together now to address this critical health challenge.

As the Divisional Vice President of Scientific and Medical Affairs for Abbott Nutrition, I am responsible for leading medical affairs, clinical development, nutrition science and education. Everyday my team focuses on nutrition science that matters.   Our mission at Abbott Nutrition is to provide nutrition science and develop products that have a great impact on peoples’ lives across the entire age spectrum. That is why it makes perfect sense for our company to be a founding member of the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition.

We know that taking care of our hospitalized patients is huge priority. With the pervasiveness of malnutrition, nothing can be more powerful than using nutrition to improve patient outcomes.

In early 2013, prior to the launch of the Alliance, the American Journal of Managed Care published a study titled “Impact of oral nutritional supplementation on hospital outcomes.” The health economic study, which was funded by Abbott, uncovered some interesting findings about the use of oral nutrition supplements during hospitalization. Oral nutrition supplementation was associated with reduced length of stay and hospitalization cost. For patients with at least one known subsequent readmission4, oral nutrition supplementation provided during hospitalization was associated with a reduction in the probability of 30‐day readmission.

This is just one of many research studies that support the Alliance’s mission – to improve patient outcomes through the power of nutrition intervention. Additional studies show:

  • Nutrition intervention significantly reduced the risk of pressure ulcers (25% fewer pressure ulcers).5
  • Nutrition intervention leads to a 63% reduction in overall complications in GI surgery patients.6
  • Nutritional supplementation decreased falls.7-8

The list of evidence is impressive. You can read explore the body of research that supports the Alliance’s mission here.
I also recommend taking some time to explore our Alliance website while you’re here.  You can find numerous resources to help spread the word about patient malnutrition. We can work together to improve patient outcomes. Let’s get started today.

1Coats KG et al. J Am Diet Assoc 1993; 93: 27-33
2Giner M et al. Nutrition 1996; 12: 23-29
3Thomas DR et al.Am J Clin Nutr 2002; 75: 308-313
4Readmission defined as return to a study hospital for any diagnosis. Data measured delayed readmission and does not include patients not readmitted due to recovery or death.
5Stratton RJ et al. Ageing Research Reviews 2005; 4: 422-450
6Stratton RJ, Elia M. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 19:353-358
7Gray-Donald K et al. J Nutr 1995; 125:2965-2971
8Neelemaat F et al. J Am Geriatr Soc 2012; 60: 691-699

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