Today, one in three patients enter the hospital malnourished1-3 and more become malnourished during their stay.4 With policy changes in the U.S. healthcare system driving an increased focus on high quality and affordable care, there is an urgent need to address the pervasive issue of hospital malnutrition and ensure that nutrition therapy is a critical component of patient care.

The Impact of Malnutrition on Hospitalized Patients
Malnutrition increases costs, length of stay, and unfavorable outcomes.5 Properly addressing hospital malnutrition creates an opportunity to improve quality of care while also reducing healthcare costs. Additional clinical research finds:

  • Malnourished patients are two times more likely to develop a pressure ulcer6
  • Patients with malnutrition have three times the rate of infection7

Yet, when hospitalized patients are provided intervention via oral nutrition supplements, health economic research finds associated benefits including:

  • Nutrition intervention may reduce hospital length of stay by an average of two days8
  • Nutrition intervention may reduce 30-day readmission rates by 6.7 percent8
  • Nutrition intervention has been shown to reduce patient hospitalization cost by 21.6 percent or $4,734 per episode8

Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition
Representing more than 100,000 dietitians, nurses, hospitalists and other physicians and clinicians from across the nation, the following organizations have come together to form the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition to champion for early nutrition screening, assessment and intervention in hospitals:

  • Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN)
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
  • American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)
  • Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM)
  • Abbott Nutrition
SHM is a founding member of The Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, an interdisciplinary partnership dedicated to improving patient outcomes through nutrition intervention. The Alliance has released its recommended Nutrition Care Model. The model was presented in a recent consensus paper titled "Critical Role of Nutrition in Improving Quality of Care: An Interdisciplinary Call to Action to Address Adult Hospital Malnutrition." The full article can be viewed here.



   Programs & Tools

   Professional Development (CME/MOC/CEU)

1 Coats KG et al. Hospital-associated malnutrition (a reevaluation 12 years later). J Am Diet Assoc. 1993; 93:27–33.
2 Giner M et al. In 1995 a correlation between malnutrition and poor outcome in critically ill patients still exists. Nutrition 1996; 12:23-29.
3 Thomas DR et al. Malnutrition in subacute-care. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002; 75: 308-313
4 Braunschweig C et al. Impact of declines in nutritional status on outcomes in adult patients hospitalized for more than 7 days. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000; 100:1316-1322
5 Lim SL et al. Malnutrition and its impact on cost of hospitalization, length of stay, readmission and 3-year mortality. Clin Nutr. 2012; 31(3):345–350
6 Banks M et al. Malnutrition and pressure ulcer risks in adults in Australian health care facilities. Nutrition 2010; 26: 896–901
7 Schneider SM et al. Malnutrition is an independent factor associated with nosocomial infections. Br J Nutr. 2004; 92:105–111
8 Philipson T, Snider J, Lakdawall D, Stryckman B, Goldman D. Impact of oral nutritional supplementation on hospital outcomes. Am J Managed Care 2013; 19(2):121-128

This Resource Center is sponsored by the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, a partnership of healthcare organizations dedicated to the education of effective hospital nutrition practices to help improve patients' medical outcomes and support all clinicians in collaborating on hospital-wide nutrition procedures. The Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition is made possible with support from Abbott Nutrition.