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Research shows that 1 in 3 hospitalized patients is malnourished upon admission.1-3
Prompt identification and treatment is required to reduce the detrimental impact of malnutrition on health and quality of life.

Overall, proper nutrition is as important to a patient’s recovery as medication or other standard protocols. If not addressed:

  • Malnourished patients are 2 times more likely to develop a pressure ulcer4
  • Malnutrition is a risk factor for hospital-acquired infections and postoperative complications5
  • Patients with malnutrition have 3 times the risk for surgical site infection5
  • 45% of patients who fall in the hospital are malnourished6

Clinicians are looking for ways to collaborate and provide better patient care. This case study illustrates how St. John’s staff improved the rate of nutritional screenings and reduced pressure ulcer rates at their care facilities by using a team approach.

Click here to download the full case study

The staff at St. John’s implemented steps to address their patients’ nutritional statuses and complication risk factors:

  • Leaders in wound care, clinical nutrition, and nursing established an aggressive timeline for nutrition screening.
  • The entire health system adopted a policy of offering oral nutritional supplements, guided by a decision tree.
  • Job aids were used to track nutritional information and request supplements and dietitian consults.


Using their decision tree, nursing staff at St. John supplemented diet with selective oral nutritional supplements and/or additives per protocol for at-risk patients.

  • From March 2011 to February 2012, the percentage of nutrition screening completed within 24 hours of admission increased from 53.6% to 78%.
  • From July 2011 to February 2012, with increased emphasis on improving nutrition and providing nutritional supplementation, the pressure ulcer rate declined from 0.74 to 0.59.

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.
4Banks M et al. Nutrition 2010; 26: 896-901.
5Fry DE, et al. “Patient characteristics and the occurrence of never events.” Arch Surg. 2010; 145:148-151.
6Bauer JD, et al, J Hum Nutr Diet. 2007; 20:558-564.