Food is Medicine Too

May 2019

Brandon Regional Health Centre Surgery Units Participate in the More-2-Eat Study

The More-2-Eat Study, led by Dr. Heather Keller at the University of Waterloo, is helping to define the effects of malnutrition in Canadian hospitals. Brandon Regional Health Centre has joined the study for phase 2 which started in May 2018 and will be collecting data until December 2019.  The study aims to implement or improve several nutrition interventions along a pathway called the Integrated Nutrition Pathway for Acute Care (INPAC).  INPAC includes:

  • Screening for nutrition risk at admission by asking 2 simple questions:
    1. Have you lost weight in the last 6 months without trying to lose this weight?
    2. Have you been eating less than usual for more than a week?
  • Referral to a Registered Dietitian (RD) for those patients that answer yes to both of these questions. The RD would then complete an assessment and work with the patient to maximize their nutrient intake.
  • Weights on admission and at least weekly to monitor for weight loss while in hospital.
  • Food and fluid intake monitoring and timely intervention if intake is poor.
  • Discharge planning and ensuring good nutrition supports at home.

We know that good nutrition improves health and recovery. The end goals of the study are to find out if these actions reduce patient length of stay and prevent readmission.  It is also a feasibility study, meaning that we’re looking at the best ways to implement the pathway and we hope that we can apply our findings throughout PMH.

To date, the BRHC surgery units have seen a rise in nutrition screening from 0% to 89%!   The following is a story on how nutrition screening and early nutrition intervention can make a difference. 

A patient with Crohn’s disease was admitted to the hospital and answered yes to the 2 screening questions. The Dietitian completed an assessment and, in consultation with the Surgeon, TPN (total parenteral nutrition) was started quickly.  The patient’s nutrition status improved and they were able to have the surgery they required.  The patient was started back on food and was discharged one week after surgery.  The patient receives follow up nutrition care with a Dietitian in their home community.

Submitted by the BRHC More-2-Eat Site Implementation Team: Mandy Armstrong, Krista Brown, Jessica Brunskill, Jordan Hagemeister, Melanie Hart,  Maggie Ireland, Amy Noto, Bonnie Senkbeil, Margaret Woods & Noreen Weflen

Food is medicine too

Melanie Hart pictured with Roberta Schoenfeld, Physician Assistant