Any clinician caring for patients has a few patient events that likely haunt them. Most consider food and nutrition to be a fairly “safe” area of patient care. While I no longer practice in acute care clinical nutrition, I have inherited continued worries from colleagues. For example, the patient who transferred from Long Term/Post-Acute Care to the hospital with no diet order; at the hospital he was placed on a regular diet as there seemed to be no need for restrictions. Unfortunately, he was a stroke patient (whose diet was texture-modified, and appropriate for his ability to swallow); he aspirated (food/beverage into his lungs) and later died. Just one of many examples. Three recent events provide incredible promise for improved nutrition care coordination and appropriateness of nutrition/diet orders. They are:
Together, these and other advancements demonstrate great potential for preventing avoidable mishaps with nutrition care. Diet orders being only one of them.
About the Contributor
Building on a broad experience in clinical nutrition, Lindsey Hoggle transitioned to a consultant in health information technology in 2001. She has represented the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics in advocacy efforts for nutrition inclusion in electronic health records (EHR) via the regulations of the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Program known as the *HITECH Act since 2009.
Lindsey and a colleague launched the creation of “nutrition informatics” in 2006, partnered with AMIA for the first nutrition focused AMIA/Academy “10x10” Informatics Education Program in 2010, and collaborates broadly to drive consistent inclusion of nutrition in health information technology for the overall purpose of improving healthcare.