12 Tips to Recharge Your Malnutrition Program
Guest Post by Michelle Mathura, RDN, LD/N
Michelle is Director of DM&A’s Nutrition Division where she helps empower dietitians and clinical teams to improve their malnutrition care.
To celebrate the important work being done in our industry related to malnutrition and highlight the advocacy efforts in support of the recent Malnutrition Awareness Week and [White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, we share with you – the leaders, and you all are leaders– 12 important tips you can use to ramp up and keep the momentum going with your Malnutrition Programs!
MEASURE – It’s crucial for the success of your malnutrition program to measure your outcomes. Leaders must know their numbers. Data is key. You may ask, “What numbers should I know and how do I get them?” It’s important to track malnutrition prevalence, coded malnutrition diagnoses and nutrition diagnoses, and incremental revenue monthly. Check out the Global Malnutrition Composite Score (GMCS) electronic clinical quality measure to see if you can access data on all four components of the score. Then, understand what to do with this information. How else are you going to support the work you and your team are doing?
ALIGN – Align with interdisciplinary team members and departments to work on program objectives and goals. Working together will create efficiencies and provide the best patient care.
LEAD – The best way to teach, educate, and garner support for your program is to lead by example. Start with kindness, listening, resourcefulness, and providing the best practice tools and training your team needs to be successful and do their job.
NOTIFY– Is your facility using the best practice nutrition screening tool for your patient population? If not, screening is a great place to start. But don’t stop there. You can also leverage the latest clinical decision support technology to notify providers automatically when patients meet diagnostic criteria.
UNIFY – Bring your dietitian team together by getting everyone on the same page to provide best practice nutrition screening and assessment. Providing expert Nutrition Focused Physical Exam (NFPE) and Hand Grip Strength (HGS) onsite training for your team will ensure competency and confidence and the best and safest patient care!
TIME – The time is now! The reporting period for the new GMCS begins in January 2024. Examine your program and set some new goals. What goals are you still working on? What do you need to do to accomplish those goals by the end of 2022? Begin with one thing and ask yourself, “Is this realistic? What’s holding me back from accomplishing my goal?”
REIMBURSEMENT – It’s ok to talk about insurance reimbursement. Some people in leadership positions may not want to look at the “dollars” or on the flip side, they only want to look at the money coming in. Always be patient centered. Insurance reimbursement related to the coded diagnosis of malnutrition is important to patient care and should be monitored on a monthly basis. It’s a leader’s job to know their numbers, reimbursement is part of this.
IMPROVE – To grow is to learn and to learn is to grow. Learning happens through experience - classical learning, reading, and doing are some other examples. We all are “works in progress” as are the programs we lead. Look at your Malnutrition Program and your dietitian team – what is needed to get to the next best level?
TOOLS – Do you have the necessary tools to grow your malnutrition program and your dietitian team? Optimize your EHR with integrated apps that automate your workflows and audit-proof your documentation. NFPE and HGS training modules, quizzes, and competencies are key to success for any Malnutrition Program providing the best and safest patient care.
IDENTIFY – Identify key leaders within your dietitian team. Empower them with the best practice tools and training to lead this malnutrition initiative and keep the momentum going! Identify physician champions to support all your nutrition efforts, especially your malnutrition program.
ONSITE – Hands down, hands on onsite training is the best and most effective training there is for the NFPE and HGS! Onsite training for your dietitian team paired with an expert dietitian NFPE success coach working with their patients…. there’s nothing better than this to support the dietitian, provide the best and safest patient care, and ensure confidence and competence!
NOW – Now it’s time to take the next step! Start today. Pick one thing from this list and improve your program! Now is the time to light the fire and keep the flame burning!
Let us show you how to implement these 12 steps at your institution!
We offer free 30-minute consultations with our team of DM&A and Junum malnutrition care experts. Let us put our combined expertise to work for you.