A Comprehensive Nutrition-Focused Quality Improvement Program Reduces 30-Day Readmissions and Length of Stay in Hospitalized Patients.

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A Comprehensive Nutrition-Focused Quality Improvement Program Reduces 30-Day Readmissions and Length of Stay in Hospitalized Patients.

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2017 Mar;41(3):384-391

Authors: Sriram K, Sulo S, VanDerBosch G, Partridge J, Feldstein J, Hegazi RA, Summerfelt WT

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Although screening patients for malnutrition risk on hospital admission is standard of care, nutrition shortfalls are undertreated. Nutrition interventions can improve outcomes. We tested effects of a nutrition-focused quality improvement program (QIP) on hospital readmission and length of stay (LOS).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: QIP included malnutrition risk screening at admission, prompt initiation of oral nutrition supplements (ONS) for at-risk patients, and nutrition support. A 2-group, pre-post design of malnourished adults with any diagnosis was conducted at 4 hospitals: QIP-basic (QIPb) and QIP-enhanced (QIPe). Comparator patients had a malnutrition diagnosis and ONS orders. For QIPb, nurses screened all patients on admission using an electronic medical record (EMR)-cued Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST); ONS was provided to patients with MST scores ≥2 within 24-48 hours. QIPe had ONS within 24 hours, postdischarge nutrition instructions, telephone calls, and ONS coupons. Primary outcome was 30-day unplanned readmission. We used baseline (January 1-December 31, 2013) and validation cohorts (October 13, 2013-April 2, 2014) for comparison.
RESULTS: Patients (n = 1269) were enrolled in QIPb (n = 769) and QIPe (n = 500). Analysis included baseline (n = 4611) and validation (n = 1319) comparator patients. Compared with a 20% baseline readmission rate, post-QIP relative reductions were 19.5% for all QIP, 18% for QIPb, and 22% for QIPe, respectively. Compared with a 22.1% validation readmission rate, relative reductions were 27.1%, 25.8%, and 29.4%, respectively. Similar reductions were noted for LOS.
CONCLUSIONS: Thirty-day readmissions and LOS were significantly lowered for malnourished inpatients by use of an EMR-cued MST, prompt provision of ONS, patient/caregiver education, and sustained nutrition support.

PMID: 27923890 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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