Malnourished adults’ receipt of hospital discharge nutrition care instructions: a pilot study
Brooks et al., JHND Early View
Malnutrition remains an important yet under‐recognised problem among hospitalised adults. Although interventions exist aiming to improve nutritional status beyond hospitalisation, few studies examine how often and what type of nutrition care instructions are given at discharge. The present study sought to review nutrition‐focused discharge care provided to malnourished adults.
We reviewed the electronic medical record for discharge nutrition care instructions provided to adult patients identified by dietitians as malnourished over a 4‐month period.
Seventy‐six eligible patients were identified during the study period. More than half of malnutrition cases (64.5%) were attributed to chronic illness. According to electronic medical record documentation, 6.6% received discharge instructions to consume oral nutrition supplements and 30.3% received new or changed prescriptions for vitamins/noncaloric supplements. Almost half of patients (47.4%) received general diet instructions that did not address malnutrition and 44.8% received inappropriate instructions to limit caloric intake.
A majority of malnourished adult patients receive inappropriate or inadequate nutrition care instructions at the time of discharge. Clinician education and redesign of nutrition care options in the electronic medical record may improve the provision of post‐discharge nutrition care instructions.