It is recommended to conduct routine Malnutrition Screening to identify consumers who may be at risk.
Optimum Intake Dietitians work collaboratively with your team to review current screening tool procedures, frequency of screening and referral pathways. Australian studies have identified a prevalence of malnutrition from 22% up to 50%. A culture across all staff must be evident which demonstrates that enjoyable nutritious food is important, and that poor intake and weight loss is not inevitable. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises malnutrition as one of six contributing factors to the declining physical and mental capacity of older people. Malnutrition increases the risk of falls, osteoporosis and fractures, slow wound healing, morbidity, mortality and contributes to poor quality of life. Prevention and management of unplanned weight loss requires measuring and monitoring, supported by clinical governance and training. The recommended framework for malnutrition screening includes initial and ongoing training of all care staff and support workers in use of the screening tool, prompt referral of all identified as being malnourished or at risk of malnutrition to an Accredited Practising Dietitian and minimum standards for the documentation of screening results and follow up.
Optimum Intake Dietitians have delivered support to facilities in implementing malnutrition screening which has shown great value in quality of care provided to consumers. Great costs associated with malnutrition are more easily prevented if malnutrition screening is in place. Please contact us if your facility would benefit from screening for consultation and more information.