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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


MARTINUZZI, A. et al. Impact of quality improvement process upon the state of nutritional support in a critical care unit. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2012, vol.27, n.4, pp.1219-1227. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: In a preceding article the state of Nutritional support (NS) in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was documented [Martinuzzi A et al. Estado del soporte nutricional en una unidad de Cuidados críticos. RNC 2011; 20: 5-17]. In this follow-up work we set to assess the impact of several organizational, recording and educational interventions upon the current state of NS processes. Materials and methods: Interventions comprised presentation of the results of the audit conducted at the ICU before the institution's medical as well as paramedical personnel; their publication in a periodical, peerreviewed journal; drafting and implementation of a protocol regulating NS schemes to be carried out at the ICU; and conduction of continuous education activities on Nutrition (such as "experts talks", interactive courses, and training in the implementation of the NS protocol). The state of NS processes documented after the interventions was compared with the results annotated in the preceding article. Study observation window ran between March the 1st, 2011 and May 31th, 2011, both included. Results: Study series differed only regarding overallmortality: Phase 1: 40.0% vs. Phase 2: 20.5%; Difference: 19.5%; Z = 1.927; two-tailed-p = 0.054. Interventions resulted in a higher fulfillment rate of the prescribed NS indication; an increase in the number of patients receiving > 80% of prescribed energy; and a reduction in the number of NS lost days. Mortality was (numerically) lower in patients in which the prescribed NS scheme was fulfilled, NS was early initiated, and whom received > 80% of prescribed energy. Adopted interventions had no effect upon average energy intakes: Phase 1: 574.7 ± 395.3 kcal/24 h-1 vs. Phase 2: 591.1 ± 315.3 kcal/24 h1; two-tailed-p > 0.05. Conclusions: Educational, recording and organizational interventions might result in a better conduction of NS processes, and thus, in a lower mortality. Hemodynamic instability is still the most formidable obstacle for initiating and completing NS.

Keywords : Nutritional support; Critical care; Processes; Audit; Quality improvement.

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