Improving patient outcomes through registered dietitian order writing.
Nutr Clin Pract. 2013 Oct;28(5):556-65
Authors: Roberts SR
Traditionally, registered dietitians (RD) have not had order writing privileges in most patient-care facilities and rely on physicians to implement their recommendations. Research has demonstrated that this model results in a high percentage of RD recommendations not being ordered. Timely nutrition interventions are important due to the prevalence of malnutrition in the hospital setting and when RD recommendations are implemented, important outcomes are improved. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that when RDs have order writing privileges, which allows more assurance that an intervention will occur and timely interventions, improved outcomes, such as improved nutrition status, better management of electrolytes and glycemic control, reaching goal calories sooner, reduction in inappropriate parenteral nutrition use, cost savings, and less error with electronic order entry. The process for implementation and outcomes of an RD order writing program at 1 large, urban, tertiary medical center is described. The program has been successful, but the implementation process required multiple years and ongoing monitoring through data collection to ensure success. RDs interested in order writing privileges must consider federal and state regulations, their individual scope of practice (relevant training and competency assessment), and how to obtain approval from the appropriate hospital governing committees. RDs who obtain order writing privileges must understand "with privilege comes responsibility" and should plan to conduct outcomes research to promote the value and acceptance of RD order writing by regulatory agencies at all levels and hospital leaders, for instance physicians and administrators.
PMID: 23969268 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]