The following article features coverage from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

According to findings of an initiative to be presented at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference, increased nutrition knowledge/awareness by nurses and continuity of care are important for improving patient outcomes.

Malnutrition contributes many negative effects on patients who are hospitalized; regardless of body weight, patients can have impaired quality of life and wound healing, increased risk of falls, infections, and various comorbidities. Hospitals can also experience hardships as a result of patients experiencing malnutrition, as these patients require longer hospital stays that inevitably lead to increased costs, readmission rates, and poorer patient outcomes.

Researchers hypothesized that a standing order addressing the gaps in nutritional care could lead to improved outcomes.

By assessing nursing knowledge, analyzing daily nutrition reports, order sets, and the length of stay/readmission of patients, researchers gathered data to develop and implement a nutritional supplement standing order set to address the gaps in patient nutrition. Additional education was provided to nurses in regard to nutrition and the standing order set.

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The outcomes of the study included a decrease in time between screening and intervention, incorporation of interventions in the current workflow process and improved documentation of nutrition, decreased cost to the healthcare system, improved patient outcomes, and increased knowledge for nurses.

Complete findings will be presented at the NACNS 2018 Annual Conference.

Reference

Malone A. A clinical nurse specialist led initiative to improve nutritional status in hospitalized patients. Oral presentation at: NACNS 2018 Annual Conference; February 28-March 3, 2018; Austin, TX.