Are you a health care professional working in the clinical setting? Well, the dietitians in your facility will be nerding out this week since it’s Malnutrition Week! What is malnutrition? In the clinical setting, malnutrition is the inadequate intake of energy, protein and micronutrients. Many of the causes of hospital malnutrition are small that we, as health care providers, have control over, as you can see in the figure below.
Did you know that 45% (nearly 1 out of 2) patients are malnourished at hospital admission and that only 1 in 4 of those who enter the hospital malnourished are actually detected? Each malnourished patient stays 2 to 3 days longer in the hospital relative to well-nourished patients which costs about $2000 more for each malnourished patient’s hospital stay due to increased risks of infections and need for resources and treatment. Malnutrition is a widespread problem in Canadian hospitals that bears tremendous costs both financially and for a patient’s quality of life, an estimated total annual financial burden of approximately $2 billion.
What can you do to help as a team member in the hospital? Here’s some ways you can help!
- Raising awareness of the importance of food for patient recovery
- Having all healthcare team members advocate for a patient’s nutrition care
- Endorsing and implementing nutrition screening tools and referring a Clinical Dietitian as needed
- Ensuring patients and families are involved with nutrition care
- Providing access to training for health care team members who indicate their nutrition knowledge is not adequate
Want to learn more about Canadian Malnutrition Week? Check out Nutrition Care in Canada’s website here!
**Above information was extracted from http://www.nutritioncareincanada.ca.