Reduced Readmissions—In a Bottle?
The six clinical characteristics of malnutrition, as defined in 2012 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, are:
- Insufficient food and nutrition intake compared with nutrition requirements
- Weight loss over time
- Loss of muscle mass
- Loss of fat mass
- Fluid accumulation
- Measurably diminished grip strength
A patient who exhibits any two of the six characteristics should be diagnosed with malnutrition, the groups say.
Kelly Tappenden, PhD, of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its representative to the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, says the Joint Commission mandates a nutrition screening within 24 hours of admission. Yet the screening is often not completed or the results may not flag timely follow-up before a patient is discharged.
"Additionally, priority is put on addressing high-acuity patient health needs," says Tappenden, who is Professor of Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "As a therapy, nutrition is often overlooked and undervalued in the hospital setting." She adds that one in three patients enter the hospital malnourished.
"The good news is that as the body of science supporting nutrition is advancing, we are seeing hospital administrators and interdisciplinary clinician teams take notice of the benefits of nutrition on patient outcomes," she says.
- Senators Hear How Two-Midnight Rule Harms Patients, Hospitals
- 3 Management Lessons from a Supermarket Debacle
- Handshaking Spreads Germs. Get Over It.
- Healthcare Costs Start With What We Eat
- Hospitals Likely to Outsource ICD-10 at Launch
- IOM Identifies GME Problems, Calls for Finance Changes
- CMS Confirms ICD-10 Deadline
- Anatomy of 3 Health System Rebranding Efforts
- Premium Subsidy Fight Creating Uncertainty for Hospitals, Health Plans
- Medicare Advantage Carriers See 'No Choice' But to Accept Cuts