A recent systematic review and meta-analysis shows that appropriate use of oral nutrition supplements (ONS) in community patients is associated with a significant reduction in hospitalisations. Given higher use of acute care resource by malnourished versus normally nourished patients, this paper examines the potential to reduce bed utilisation by applying these results to Irish inpatient and malnutrition prevalence data. In 2013, adults admitted to hospital with medium or high malnutrition risk scores used an estimated 36% of adult acute inpatient bed days. Targeted use of ONS in community patients might reduce hospitalisation by 168,438 adult bed days per year, equivalent to 460 beds per day. This is particularly important, given high bed occupancy rates and twelve month daily averages of 254 patients on trolleys. Relevant stakeholders should consider strategies to ensure effective ONS use with a view to improving outcomes and reducing pressure on the acute care system.
|Journal||Irish Medical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 01 May 2016|
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