Aims: Providing effective nutrition care in the outpatient setting is essential as up to 25% of community-dwelling adults experience poor nutritional health. We analyze the effectiveness of QI efforts aiming to improve nutrition care in outpatient clinics by assessing the experience and satisfaction of healthcare providers with an outpatient nutrition quality improvement (QI) initiative.
Methods: An online survey was distributed to healthcare providers participating in an outpatient clinic nutrition QI initiative. Key survey topics included healthcare provider satisfaction with the conduct of the QI initiative and perceptions of the initiative’s impact on patient care and provider performance.
Results: In total, 63 healthcare providers from 18 U.S. outpatient clinics responded to the survey. Registered nurse was the most commonly reported role. Over 88% of respondents expressed agreement with the statements regarding overall satisfaction with the QI initiative and recommending the initiative to other clinics. After the QI initiative was implemented, 27% more respondents agreed that nutrition care in their practice helped them identify patients with poor nutrition, and 30.2% more respondents felt better able to answer nutrition questions (p-values<0.05). Higher average rates of oral nutritional supplementation recommendation for patients with poor nutrition were confirmed (7.03 vs. 14.6, p<0.05). Survey responses indicated that the patient experience improved; 20.6% (61.9% before vs. 82.5% after) more respondents agreed that patients experienced greater satisfaction with their care, and 25.4% (65.1% before 90.5% after) more respondents agreed that patients had improved health and functionality after the QI initiative was implemented (p-values<0.05).
Conclusions: Our results support the potential of outpatient nutrition-focused QI initiatives to be successfully implemented and optimize patient care in outpatient clinics, improve patient health and reduce healthcare costs. Future studies utilizing larger groups of healthcare providers and clinics are warranted to support our findings and look for improvement in patient outcomes.
Colangelo FR, Moukamal E, Kerr K, Sulo S