Patients tracking their own nutrition shorten their hospital stays

It’s a silent risk affecting nearly half of everyone already in hospital: malnourished hospital patients fall over more, get infections more easily, stay in hospital longer, and die more often.

Whether you’re malnourished before you get to hospital or develop it during your stay, now there’s a way to take control of your body’s food needs, right from your bed.

Shelley Roberts (Griffith University) and her team are developing a program that allows patients to track and monitor their own food intake and nutrition goals, with the help of a dietitian, right from their hospital beds. This helps patients to meet their nutrition needs and get out of hospital sooner.

Their results show that patients like the program, which is built into the bedside monitor, and find it easy to use. It helps patients to be more aware of and responsible for their nutrition, and motivates them to eat more.

Because it allows patients to complete simple tasks themselves, such as recording food intake, it may also save staff time, which can be spent on other important aspects of care.

Technology is the future of health care, and patients should be at the centre of their own care. This program could revolutionise the way we provide nutrition care in hospitals, benefiting both staff and patients.

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