The current era of healthcare delivery, with its focus on providing high-quality, affordable care, presents many challenges to hospital-based health professionals. The prevention and treatment of hospital malnutrition offers a tremendous opportunity to optimize the overall quality of patient care, improve clinical outcomes, and reduce costs. Unfortunately, malnutrition continues to go unrecognized and untreated in many hospitalized patients.
To address this issue, the five founding members of the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition have worked together to publish a pioneering consensus paper outlining the problem of malnutrition and recommended steps to improve patient outcomes, which will be published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the MedSurg Nursing Journal.
The consensus paper titled, “Critical Role of Nutrition in Improving Quality of Care: An Interdisciplinary Call to Action to Address Adult Hospital Malnutrition PDF(725 KB),” represents a call to action from the interdisciplinary Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition to highlight the critical role of nutrition intervention in clinical care and to suggest practical ways to promptly diagnose and treat malnourished patients and those at risk for malnutrition. Click here for the Spanish translation PDF(587 KB).
The Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition presents a Nutrition Care Model to drive improvement, emphasizing the following six principles:
1) Create an institutional culture where all stakeholders value nutrition
2) Redefine clinicians’ roles to include nutrition care
3) Recognize and diagnose all malnourished patients and those at risk
4) Rapidly implement comprehensive nutrition interventions and continued monitoring
5) Communicate nutrition care plans
6) Develop a comprehensive discharge nutrition care and education plan
In addition to the Nutrition Care Model, the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition has created a downloadable toolkit filled with resources for clinicians including screening tools, feeding tips, fact sheets, case studies, patient discharge materials and more. Click here to download the toolkit.
K. A. Tappenden, B. Quatrara, M. L. Parkhurst, T.R. Ziegler, A. M. Malone are members of the Steering Committee of the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition who have been chosen by the professional organizations they represent and reimbursed for Alliance-related expenses. Abbott Nutrition has provided funding to the member organizations of the Alliance and to Dr. Marithea Goberville of Science Author, Inc. for writing assistance.