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Reducing the incidence of infections

The current situation

Patients with malnutrition/weight loss have 3 times the risk for surgical site infection.1

Collaborative leadership

How can you and your care team reduce the incidence of infections?

Empower all clinicians to collaborate on nutritional decisions, in addition to standard care, before scheduled admission or early into patients’ stay.

  • According to a recent Cochrane analysis, complications were reduced by 14% when protein and energy supplementation was provided to patients at risk of malnutrition.2

Nutrition intervention

Rapid nutrition intervention is important to your patients’ recovery.

Nutrition care, in addition to routine medical care, has been shown to reduce complications such as infections.2 Some evidence-based guidelines from ESPEN* are:

  • Use nutritional support in patients with severe nutritional risk for 10-14 days prior to surgery, even if surgery needs to be delayed.3 (Strength of Evidence A)

Enhanced procedures

How can your hospital’s procedures be enhanced to improve quality of care?

  1. Recognize and diagnose all patients at risk of malnutrition
    • Identify patients at risk of infection within 24 hours with facility-specific screening tools, like the Malnutrition Screening Tool.
    • Utilize and maximize your nutritional screening process to help identify patient targets.
  2. Rapidly implement nutrition interventions and continue monitoring your patients
    • Enhance policies to include automatic nutrition intervention for patients at risk of malnutrition.
  3. Develop a discharge plan for patient nutrition care and education
    • Empower nurses to provide patient education, outpatient instructions, and other resources for continued compliance with the nutrition care plan post-discharge.4

Reducing the incidence of infections PDF(390 KB)

Find out how nutrition can improve patient outcomes and reduce the incidence of falls, pressure ulcers and reduce avoidable readmissions.

1Fry DE, et al. Arch Surg. 2010;145:148-151.
2Milne AC, et al.  Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Apr 15(2): CD003288.
3Weimann A, et al. Clin Nutr. 2006;25:224-244.
4Jensen M and Hessove IB. Nutrition 1997;13:422-430.
*ESPEN = European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism