Preventing a patient from becoming malnourished can shorten his or her hospital stay, decrease hospital fees and, most importantly, improve the patient's quality of life. For those reasons, identifying and treating patients with malnutrition warrants the attention of health care providers and policymakers.
During its September Spotlight on Malnutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics raises awareness of malnutrition and promotes the crucial role of registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered in identifying and treating this serious condition. In addition, the Academy provides educational resources for the public and Academy members.
Identifying and treating people who show early signs of malnutrition can enhance a person's mental and physical health. In the case of seniors, delivering nutritious meals and snacks preserves their dignity and functional status by enabling them to age in place and reduce expensive hospital stays."
Academy President Terri J. Raymond, registered dietitian nutritionist
During September, the Academy and its members will emphasize specific aspects of malnutrition to include the following focus areas:
- Prevention and Well-Being
- Hospital Care and Health Systems
- Food and Nutrition Safety and Security
The September issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will feature a special supplement that includes articles about how the prevention and treatment of malnutrition present outstanding opportunities to improve the overall quality of patient care, enhance quality clinical outcomes and reduce health care costs.
Much of the information for the supplement was provided by the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative, a project of the Academy, Avalere Health and other stakeholders who collaborated to support quality improvement measures for malnutrition care and provide resources for the implementation of those measures.