Patients , friends and family weren ’ t forgotten , either . Patients got guidance on what to eat via meal tray flyers and visitors were greeted at the hospital by a large noticeboard with plenty of useful resources to take home .
THINK E . A . T . S :
• Encourage – are family members helping or hindering meal times ? Can a hospital aid help to encourage eating ?
• Assist – can the patient sit out of bed to eat ? Can the patient open food and drink / supplement containers ? Is the patient ’ s bed tray within reach ? Does the patient need full or partial feeding ?
• Timing – does the patient have time to eat ? Do meds / tests / scans interrupt meals or enteral feed times ? Do you need to protect meal times ? Start enteral feed at prescribed time
• Symptoms – are symptoms like nausea , constipation or thrush affecting eating ? Are regular mouth cares needed ? Do their dentures tilt ?
Our biggest accomplishment ( which , like many great ideas , came to mind while standing in the shower ), was to create a malnutrition alert – a symbol on our patient management system that identifies patients who have been diagnosed with malnutrition . This logo went hand in hand with our message ' Think E . A . T . S ’ , an acronym that outlined key considerations for malnourished patients . ( See breakdown beside )
As we know , the issue with malnutrition isn ’ t just identifying those at risk , but consistently thinking about how we can treat malnutrition , how we can improve malnutrition outcomes and how all health professionals can get involved . This alert was an initiative that demonstrates malnutrition is everyone ’ s business and requires a cultural shift to empower others to recognise and improve outcomes . We took the opportunity to launch the malnutrition alert during Malnutrition Week ANZ where it would reach key stakeholders at a time where malnutrition was a hot topic .
Malnutrition Week ANZ inspired our dietetic team to be creative , collaborative and deliver an incredible week filled with meaningful and enjoyable activities .
© Dietitian Connection 11 Infuse | October 2021