Canadian Malnutrition Week recap, photos and more!
Submitted by Tanya Choy, Dietitian, Renal Program, Clinical Nutrition Services, St. Paul’s Hospital
As the third annual Canadian Malnutrition Week comes to an end, we would like to reflect on some of the great teamwork, engagement and learnings that happened at Providence Health Care (PHC).
Why Malnutrition Matters
Malnutrition and inadequate intake of energy, protein, and nutrients affect body tissues, functional ability, and overall health. In hospitalized patients, these effects are magnified by acute conditions including infections and inflammation, which can lead to extensive physiological changes and increased nutritional needs. According to studies in Canadian hospitals:
- The prevalence of malnutrition is approximately 50% among medical or surgical patients with length of stay of 2 or more days.
- Malnutrition is associated with poorer patient outcomes – such as longer hospital stays, increased rates of readmissions within 30 days, more nosocomial infections, and prolonged pressure injuries.
- Malnourished patients stay approximately 3 days longer in hospital. The health care cost of a longer length of stay amounts to an additional $1500 per patient per day, independent of other factors.
Dietitians and Sodexo food services partnered up and travelled to inpatient units at St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH) to encourage staff to explore their perceptions of hospital food and factors affecting how well patients eat. Staff were surprised at how good hospital food can taste, and commented on how preconceived notions and presentation negatively affected their perceptions of hospital food. In Canada, we know that 45% of patients who are admitted to hospital are malnourished, with another 20% having worsening nutrition status during their stay. How staff perceive hospital food and support malnourished patients can contribute to a patient’s nutrition status. We thank unit nursing and allied health staff for their willingness to try hospital food, explore their perceptions of hospital food and brainstorm strategies to tackle hospital malnutrition.
Providence staff, dietitians and Sodexo members partnered up to increase awareness regarding perceptions of hospital food and patient malnutrition factors.
Learning through a game of jeopardy
We took malnutrition jeopardy on the road to PHC administrative buildings to raise awareness of hospital malnutrition. Thank you Howe Street staff for your enthusiasm and great jeopardy skills.
Tanya and Gia, SPH Dietitians, and Jaki, Professional Practice Leader of Clinical Nutrition, making their way through a game of jeopardy with staff.
Malnutrition Awareness Fair
This year’s main event was a Malnutrition Awareness Fair that occurred in the SPH cafeteria on Thursday, September 27. The fair attracted 132 staff and patient participants who had the opportunity to visit 10 booths led by interdisciplinary health care professionals from all over SPH. Each booth consisted of educational material and an interactive activity to demonstrate how combatting malnutrition is everyone’s responsibility. Thank you to our colleagues from food services, speech-language pathology, social work, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, pharmacy, nursing and Patient and Family Centred Care for your enthusiasm, teamwork and continued focus on excellent patient care. Thank you to our sponsors Sodexo, Abbott, Nestlé, PHC Knowledge Translation Community of Practice and the Clinical Nutrition Department for allowing such an event to occur. Lastly, thank you to the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force for the research and efforts in “Tackling the perceptions of hospital food”.
Providence staff, partners, sponsors and more at Malnutrition Awareness Week Fair.
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