Leading Healthcare Organizations Launch Interdisciplinary Partnership: The Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition

Leading Healthcare Organizations Launch Interdisciplinary Partnership: The Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition

:The Alliance to Advance Patient NutritionKaty Hendricks, 917-595-3057

Today, one in three patients enters the hospital malnourished and more become malnourished during their stay. With policy changes in the U.S. healthcare system driving an increased focus on high quality and affordable care, there is an urgent need to address the pervasive issue of hospital malnutrition and ensure that nutrition therapy is a critical component of patient care.

Five prestigious organizations today jointly announce the launch of a new interdisciplinary partnership, the . The Alliance’s mission is to improve patient outcomes through nutrition intervention in the hospital.

Representing more than 100,000 dietitians, nurses, hospitalists and other physicians and clinicians from across the nation, the following organizations have come together to champion for early nutrition screening, assessment and intervention in hospitals:

Malnutrition increases costs, length of stay, and unfavorable outcomes. Properly addressing hospital malnutrition creates an opportunity to improve quality of care while also reducing healthcare costs.

Additional clinical research finds:

Yet, when hospitalized patients are provided intervention via oral nutrition supplements, health economic research finds associated benefits, including:

Additionally, there was a 6.7 percent reduction in the probability of a 30-day readmission with patients who had at least one known subsequent readmission and were offered oral nutrition supplements during hospitalization.

“There is a growing body of evidence supporting the positive impact nutrition has on improving patient outcomes,” said hospitalist Melissa Parkhurst, MD, FHM, who serves as medical director for the University of Kansas Hospital hospitalist section and its nutrition support service. “We are seeing that early intervention can make a significant difference. As physicians, we need to work with the entire clinician team to ensure that nutrition is an integral part of our patients' treatment plans.”

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.

1. Screen 100 percent of patients for malnutrition risk upon admission

2. Immediately prescribe nutrition to at-risk patients

3. Give every at-risk screened patient a documented nutrition care plan tailored to meet their needs from admission through discharge

“Everyone who touches the patient plays a role in delivering nutritional care,” said Beth Quatrara, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CMRSN, member of AMSN, the only specialty nursing organization dedicated to the practice of medical-surgical nursing. “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.”

“We have a malnutrition epidemic in our hospitals, and now is the time to address this widespread issue,” said Kelly Tappenden, PhD, RD, FASPEN, member of AND, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

The Alliance launched a website at to provide hospital-based clinicians with the following resources:

“Our goal is to provide hospitals with tools and resources to advocate for and institute effective nutrition practices in their organizations,” said Ainsley Malone, MS, RD, CNSC, LD, President-Elect of A.S.P.E.N., an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies.

“As a leader in nutrition science, we are leveraging our expertise to advance this important initiative. By elevating the role of nutrition and enhancing collaboration among hospital clinicians and administrators, we will improve the lives of patients throughout their hospital stay, and help healthcare providers achieve higher levels of care,” said Gary Fanjiang, MD, MBA, MS, Divisional Vice President, Scientific and Medical Affairs, Abbott Nutrition.

The Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition is an interdisciplinary partnership dedicated to raising awareness about malnutrition and championing for early nutrition screening, assessment and intervention in hospitals. Founded in 2013, the Alliance is comprised of leaders from the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) and Abbott Nutrition. The Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition is made possible with support from Abbott’s nutrition business. Visit the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition at .

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