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Almost half of adult patients admitted to Canadian hospitals, and specifically medical and surgical care, are malnourished. This malnutrition develops in the community as a result of social and disease factors. Malnutrition, regardless of its cause, extends the length of the hospital stay and results in readmission if not resolved.
An evidence-based best practices algorithm to improve the nutrition care processes in hospital has been developed. This algorithm promotes prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition, as well as improved transitions to the community after hospitalization.
Although designed to be feasible, this best practice algorithm needs to be tested to determine if and how it can be implemented and if patient reported outcomes improve as a result of these improved practices.
More-2-Eat focused on implementing this best practice algorithm in five hospitals (one medical unit each) in four provinces to understand the process of implementation, resource requirements and if it improved patient reported outcomes such as food intake and barriers to intake while in hospital.
Heather Keller, PhD, RD, FDC is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and a Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition and Aging with the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging. She obtained her PhD at Western University, an MSc at McGill University, and a BASc at the University of Guelph. She is a nutritional epidemiologist and dietitian. Her research interests include nutrition risk screening, assessment and nutrition intervention for seniors in general and seniors with dementia in particular. Her research spans community and institutional sectors.