While your patients are in your care, you provide them with quality nutrition care. But, what happens when they go home?
Many transitional care plans may be missing an important piece – nutrition care. Providing access to food allows the frail and elderly to regain their strength and energy faster. Proper nutrition for those at risk improves patient outcomes following surgery or hospitalization.
When patients go into the hospital, one thing they may not expect is to leave malnourished. Unfortunately, that is what often occurs to one-third of patients admitted to hospitals. Malnutrition is not always recognized and often goes untreated during hospitalization. Weight loss and inadequate nutritional intake can delay the healing and recovery process. This may lead to more challenging recoveries, and in many cases, relapse and readmission.
Research shows that nutritional intervention has a positive impact on patient outcomes. Benefits include:
- 25 percent reduction in pressure ulcer incidence
- 14 percent fewer overall complications
- 28 percent decrease in avoidable readmissions
- A 2-day reduction in average length of stay
Disease-associated malnutrition is a common and widespread problem. Older adults are especially at risk. Clinical evidence shows that solid, well-balanced nutrition is essential to health. The effects of poor nutritional status are evident in those who were recently hospitalized and recovering from an acute illness. Malnutrition in the frail and elderly is an important area of concern. Poor outcomes related to malnutrition may occur:
- Increased risk of pressure ulcers
- Impaired wound healing
- Increased infection rate
- Muscle wasting
- Functional loss, resulting in more falls
- Longer hospital stays
- Higher readmission rates
- Higher treatment costs
- Increased mortality
Providing home-delivered meals will show you care about your patients after they leave the hospital. Post-discharge meals significantly impact both short-term recovery results and the long-term health of patients. You want your patients to have a perception of trust and feel they received excellent care. Provide them the peace of mind with home-delivered meals.
For more information, download our ebook, The Impact of Nutrition Care and Patient Outcomes.