Three healthcare companies compile report on malnutrition


Three healthcare companies compile report on malnutrition

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Baxter International (BAX), a PN therapy provider, has partnered with the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to co-author a new statistical brief, ''Characteristics of Hospital Stays Involving Malnutrition, 2013'', about the often overlooked consequences of disease-related malnutrition.

The new statistical data characterizes the impact of malnutrition in US hospitalized patients in human and economic costs. Malnutrition is associated with up to five times higher risk of in-hospital deaths, may result in two times longer hospital stays, and creates an estimated $42 billion burden to the healthcare system, data shows.

''I believe the fundamental reason malnutrition is underdiagnosed and undertreated is that we lack objective, measurable means to diagnose the condition,'' said Paul Wischmeyer, MD, Department of Anesthesiology and Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center.

''I teach that nutrition assessment has to occur in every patient, and at-risk patients should be started on thoughtful nutrition therapy within 48 hours.''

The statistical brief is the outcome of an evaluation of the AHRQ Healthcare Cost and Utilization (HCUP) database, the nation’s most comprehensive source of hospital data, including information on inpatient care, ambulatory care and emergency department visits. The statistics are national estimates on the characteristics of malnutrition reported during non-maternal and non-neonatal hospital inpatient stays.

''The often overlooked consequences of disease-related malnutrition are significant from a human and healthcare cost perspective; and while the study only looked at US statistics, this is a global concern,'' said Mary Hise Brown, a senior medical director at Baxter, and co-author of the AHRQ statistical brief.

''To advance patient care, it’s critical that all aspects of the public and private healthcare industry work together to increase awareness about the need to better assess hospitalized patients for malnutrition and how to provide the best nutritional therapy for their condition.''

Both Baxter and ASPEN aim to raise awareness about the consequences of disease-related malnutrition and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

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