Hospitals urged to act on malnutrition “epidemic”

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 3, 2013

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

A new interdisciplinary group of health professional organizations says all new hospital patients should be assessed for the risk of malnutrition.

The Society of Hospital Medicine — the medical society for hospitalists — joined with organizations representing medical-surgical nurses, nutritionists and dietitians in May to call for stepping up screening for malnutrition, which doubles the risk of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and triples the odds of health care-associated infections.

Providing nutrition therapy to malnourished patients can cut hospital stays, costs and readmissions, said the coalition, called the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition. A third of patients are malnourished upon hospital admission, with more becoming malnourished during the course of their stay, research shows.

“We have a malnutrition epidemic in our hospitals, and now is the time to address this widespread issue,” said Kelly Tappenden, PhD, a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

The alliance said every patient deemed at risk for malnutrition should get a personalized, documented nutrition care plan that follows them from admission to discharge. More information about the alliance, which receives funding from Abbott’s nutritional products division, is available at its website (link).

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn