Malnutrition remains an insidious yet common ailment among hospitalized adults, with prevalence estimates ranging from 4-45%. Multiple studies confirm the adverse effects of malnutrition, which include prolonged length of stay, readmissions, higher hospitalization costs, and mortality. Malnutrition is frequently associated with chronic disease. For nutrition interventions to be successful, they must continue to support the long-term nutritional needs of patients beyond the hospital stay. Few studies, however, examine the receipt of recommendations for oral nutrition supplementation (ONS) or basic nutrition care instructions at the time of discharge. There is a need to better understand what post-discharge nutrition care instructions are documented in the electronic medical record (EMR) and how they are communicated to patients once they leave the hospital. This study sought to describe the malnourished adult patient population and the standard of nutrition-focused discharge care they receive at Christiana Hospital in Newark, DE. The investigation revealed that a majority of these patients received inappropriate or inadequate nutrition care instructions at time of discharge. Preliminary survey data suggest that some patients may be unaware of their malnutrition diagnosis, and may receive care instructions that are never documented. Clinician education and redesign of nutrition care options in the EMR may aid in the provision of discharge instructions to treat and prevent malnutrition after patients leave the hospital.
Recommended CitationBrooks, MPHc, Madeline; Frasso, PhD, MSc, CPH, Rosemary; and Papas, PhD, MS, Mia, "Post-Discharge Nutrition Care Instructions for Malnourished Adults" (2018). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 270.