Effective management of malnutrition requires collaboration among multiple clinical disciplines.
From nurses who perform initial nutrition screening and ensure intervention compliance, to dietitians who complete nutrition assessment and recommendation(s), to physicians who oversee the overall care plan, nutrition is not just one provider's job.
In response, five influential healthcare organizations have joint together to launch a new interdisciplinary partnership, the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, which has as its mission improving outcomes in hospitalized patients through nutrition intervention.
Representing more than 100,000 dietitians, nurses, hospitalists and other physicians and clinicians from across the nation, the members of the alliance include:
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Society of Hospital Medicine
The Alliance recommends clinicians take the following steps to screen, assess and intervene:
- Screen 100% of patients for malnutrition risk upon admission
- Immediately prescribe nutrition to at-risk patients
- Give every at-risk screened patient a documented nutrition care plan tailored to meet their needs from admission through discharge
The Alliance has also launched a website, www.malnutrition.com, to provide hospital-based clinicians with the following resources:
- Research and fact sheets about malnutrition and the positive impact nutrition intervention has on patient care and outcomes
- Alliance Nutrition Toolkit to facilitate clinician collaboration and nutrition integration
- Information about educational events, such as quick learning modules, Continuing Education and Continuing Medical Education programs
"Everyone who touches the patient plays a role in delivering nutritional care," says Beth Quatrara, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CMRSN, member, AMSN. "With proper screening and assessment, malnutrition can be identified, addressed and treated. As healthcare providers, it is our duty to make sure our patients get the nutrition they need throughout the entire continuum of care."
For more information on the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, visit www.malnutrition.com.