Nestlé Health Science launches ENact to promote nutrition-focused quality improvement (QI) initiatives.
Photo © iStockphoto.com/milosducati
Clinical nutrition therapy has been shown to improve patient outcomes, shorten hospital stay times, and reduce complication risks, but are healthcare professionals leveraging nutrition as much as they could? Maybe not, according to the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, which says, “malnutrition continues to go unrecognized and untreated in many hospitalized patients.”
With that mind, NestlÃ© Health Science announced the July launch of ENact, a “web-based, integrated enteral nutrition program aimed at improving patient outcomes through the adoption of nutrition-focused quality improvement (QI) initiatives in the hospital setting.”
ENact is designed as an online space where healthcare professionals can learn about what quality improvement is and find tools to implement their own QI programs. The website features free resources about developing nutrition QI projects, especially in an acute care setting focused on patients who are critically ill, undergoing surgery, or malnourished.
Unlike clinical research, QI initiatives do not control for extraneous variables, do not usually require approval from an institutional review board (IRB), and do not establish cause-and-effect findings. But while the outcomes of QI initiatives may not be as conclusive as clinical research, they offer the advantage of being fast and easy to implement. ENact explains QI initiatives as “the means to implement evidence-based practice changes.”
“ENact represents a new stage of innovation for both NestlÃ© Health Science and the broader healthcare landscape that is changing the management of health and forging an increasingly integral role for nutrition therapy in improving health overall,” said Juan B. Ochoa, MD, chief medical officer, North America, NestlÃ© Health Science. “As part of this healthcare evolution, ENact addresses current gaps in nutritional care by supporting differentiated, science-based, nutrition-focused QI initiatives to help healthcare professionals seamlessly and effectively deliver optimized nutrition care for patients.”
Examples of QI initiatives using nutrition practices to enhance hospital care include implementing a dietitian-led nutrition support clinic or offering patients new meal options to increase satisfaction.
ENact offers links to these examples, as well as QI nutrition toolkits to help implement nutrition projects and track related improvements, educational materials, and downloadable methodology templates.
“The information and specialized resources unique to ENact allow professionals to learn more about nutrition and QI, and immediately put into action nutrition QI initiatives within their organization,” said Ochoa. “At the core of ENact is a program that helps us improve and measure patient outcomes in the clinical setting, allowing hospitals to achieve measurable benchmarks to demonstrate sustainable quality improvement.”
The program can be found at www.ENactNutrition.com.
Nutritional Outlook Magazine