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Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations

At Gelderse Vallei hospital the focus in patient care is on nutrition, exercise and sleep. We believe it is important to offer our patients healthy and balanced nutrition in order to maintain or even better, improve their nutritional status, which in turn speeds up their recovery time. For years, patients have been screened for the risk of malnutrition during the hospital admittance process. Malnutrition screening was completed using the SNAQ-malnutrition screening tool for adults and growth curves and the STRONGkids-malnutrition tool for children.

Optimizing the nutritional status plays a very important role in recovery during and after illness.

Before Gelderse Vallei had an electronic food service system, a hard copy nutritional list was used to gain the best possible insight into the nutritional intake of our patients. This list, which was used upon request of their dietitians. It was filled in twice a week by care assistants and nurses. The main goal was to get the best possible picture of the nutritional intake of our patients.

However, this process was very time consuming for all those involved e.g. nurses, care assistants and dietitians. As well as the paper-based lists often being incomplete and error-prone. Furthermore, it would often happen that there was a relatively long time between the lists being updated and the feedback being received by nurses, doctors and patients which resulted in a slow reaction time leading to a lack of effectiveness.

Therefore, in order to involve patients, nurses and doctors more in nutritional care, the desire emerged to make use of a digital system which is reliable and can be linked to the electronic patient file.

Delegate are thrilled to announce our 2nd presenter, Wilma Verburgt, who will be talking about the use of Intake Tracking to improve the Patients Nutritional Status at our upcoming “Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations” Webinar on Wednesday 16th June 2021 @ 09:00 CET

Register for our Webinar now


Using Intake Tracking to improve the Patients Nutritional Status

The Gelderse Vallei hospital food service operations are managed by Sodexo where the Delegate Patients Service software is used to manage patient meal orders and nutrition intake. This has made it possible to digitize the process of nutritional intake taking of their hospitalized patients. The digital process of recording the patient’s intake is less error prone, less time consuming whilst being easy to use, which allows the employees to concentrate more on patients care. Another major advantage of this technique is that the nutritional intake can be adjusted in real time by both dietitians and nurses. To ensure that the implementation went as smoothly as possible, an e-learning module was developed with input from all concerned parties.

In the end it was decided that nurses are responsible for tracking the patient’s intake. This also ensures that the nurses have more insight into the nutritional intake and whether the required protein levels are being met. This in turn allows them to include the outcomes during the doctor’s rounds so that corrective solutions can be prescribed in a timely manner. As a result, nutritional care is now available to all staff and not just a dietician, which in the end improves the patient’s nutritional outcomes.

Normally the digital intake tracking is completed for patients with an increased risk of malnutrition. But it is also used in cases where there are doubts about nutritional intake of the patient. The retrieved information about nutritional intake can be shared with the dietician for evaluation and subsequently leads to development of a nutritional plan when needed.

There are of course, still challenge to fill in the digital intake tracking as completely as possible, partly due to the fact that during 24 hours, there are different nurses responsible for patient care. However, as dieticians, there is a better insight into the nutritional intake of the patients on a daily basis, which means adjustments can be made quickly when necessary. Nurses also have better insights into their patient’s protein intake, leading to increased awareness.


Wishes for the future

As each hospitalized patient has a bedside terminal (digital computer system) on which a lot of information about nutrition and exercise can be found. It is desired that the patients themselves, or in the case of children and older patients have the parents or relatives, track their own intake, so that patients are able to check their own progress. The end goal is to complete the loop and have the tracked intake sent back, from the Delegate Patients Service software, to the electronic patient files. This would create a user-friendly and transparent overview, which results in joint responsibility and agility.

Register for our Webinar now


Meet Wilma Verburgt

Wilma VerburgtWilma Verburgt is a clinical pediatric dietitian working at Gelderse Vallei Hospital in Ede for over 18 years. She works closely with the pediatricians on nutritional care for children between the age of 0 and 19 years. Both in the clinical setting and the outpatient clinics. She has been involved in various studies on overweight and obese children and always enthusiastic to apply new developments. In the past years, she was also involved in nutritional care for adult patients. She is part of a team of 12 dietitians, where all dietitians represent their own specialism. Gelderse Vallei Hospital, and also the dietetics department, have a partnership with the Wageningen University and Research when it comes to nutritional research.

To hear more about the use of Intake Tracking to improve the Patients Nutritional Status at Gelderse Vallei, and to ask your questions, come join Wilma on the Delegate sponsored “Improving hospital patients’ nutrition: New technologies and innovations” Webinar on Wednesday 16th June 2021 @ 09:00 CET