Efficacy and Efficiency of Nutritional Support Teams

Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2019 Aug 22; 8(9):1281. doi: 10.3390/jcm8091281.
Reber, E., Strahm, R., Bally, L., Schuetz, P., & Stanga, Z.


Malnutrition is frequent in patients during a hospital admission and may further worsen during the hospital stay without appropriate nutritional support. Malnutrition causes greater complication rates, morbidity, and mortality rates, which increases the length of hospital stay and prolongs rehabilitation. Early recognition of individual nutritional risk and timely initiation of a tailored nutritional therapy are crucial. Recent evidence from large-scale trials suggests that efficient nutritional management not only improves the nutritional status, but also prevents negative clinical outcomes and increases patients' quality of life. Multifaceted clinical knowledge is required to ensure optimal nutritional support, according to a patient's individual situation and to avoid potential complications. Furthermore, clear definition of responsibilities and structuring of patient, and work processes are indispensable. Interdisciplinary and multiprofessional nutritional support teams have been built up to ensure and improve the quality and safety of nutritional treatments. These teams continuously check and optimize the quality of procedures in the core areas of nutritional management by implementing nutritional screening processes using a validated tool, nutritional status assessment, an adequate nutritional care plan development, prompt and targeted nutritional treatment delivery, and provision of accurate monitoring to oversee all aspects of care, from catering to artificial nutrition. The foundation of any nutritional care plan is the identification of patients at risk. The aim of this narrative review is to provide an overview about composition, tasks, and challenges of nutritional support teams, and to discuss the current evidence regarding their efficiency and efficacy in terms of clinical outcome and cost effectiveness.

Information NutriBib

Reference work for leading, current and selected literature in the field of clinical nutrition

Publications on clinical nutrition have grown steadily in recent years and the scientific evidence has been improved by numerous observational as well as intervention studies. Various umbrella organisations, such as the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (GESKES), the German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM) or the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) publish guidelines on nutrition in various clinical situations at regular intervals. Thus, a large amount of literature is available for evidence-based nutritional medicine.

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List of abbreviations

DGEM German Society for Nutritional Medicine (German Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin)
GESKES  Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (German Gesellschaft für klinische Ernährung der Schweiz) 
ESPEN European Society of Clinicl Nutrition and Metabolism