More 2 Eat Study

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More 2 Eat Study


“Food is medicine. Medicine Heals.”

The More 2 Eat study is being conducted on the Accountable Care Unit (4A – Medicine) at the Pasqua Hospital until March 31, 2017. The RQHR was selected as one of five locations in Canada to participate in the “More 2 Eat“ Study, an 18-month initiative to implement a nutrition care pathway. The RQHR research team, consisting of Dr. David McCutcheon, Vice President of Physician and Integrated Health Services; Lori Garchinski, Executive Director of Critical Care, Cardiosciences and Medicine Inpatient Units; Stephanie Cook, Director of Nutrition and Food Services; and Roseann Nasser, Research Dietitian (principal investigator), received an $80,000 working grant to implement this pathway.

The purpose of the study is to improve the detection and standard treatment for malnutrition in hospitalized patients. This study is of importance to our health region as it was identified in a national study (2013) that 6 out of 10 patients in the RQHR are malnourished on admission which was higher than the national average (4.5/10 patients). It was also identified that patients who consume 50% or less of their meal tray will have a longer hospital stay and increased risk of mortality (Keller et al. 2013). 

With the support and help of Sheri Bray and Dr. Ron Taylor co-managers of the ACU and their team, multiple steps of the nutrition care pathway have been incorporated into the daily work of physicians, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, food service workers and assessor coordinators . The first step of the pathway is to identify patients at nutrition risk.  A nutrition screen (2 simple questions) has been added as part of the nursing admission database and is being completed over 80% of the time. Also, determining how much our patients eat is an important marker.  Food service workers have been playing an important role in monitoring and recording the intake of all patients at all meals on 4A by marking each patient’s whiteboard.  The whiteboard is a means to communicate daily goals and food intake to patients, families, nurses, physicians, and other health professionals. The food intake information is reported at the Structured Interdisciplinary Bedside Rounds. Other important aspects of the pathway include implementing a high protein, high energy oral nutrition supplement at medication times in volumes of 60 mL for patients who are malnourished.  These are only a few of the steps that have been implemented. This project is raising awareness of the importance of food as medicine and that nutrition care in hospital involves everyone. Stay tuned for exciting results in the spring of 2017.     

Submitted by:  Roseann Nasser, Research Dietitian