Malnutrition affects up to 45% of acute care patients upon admission to Canadian hospitals, negatively affecting patients and healthcare systems through increased morbidity, mortality, length of stay (LOS), healthcare costs, and readmission risk. In order to improve nutrition care practices to identify and treat malnourished patients in medical inpatient care, Niagara Health (NH) implemented key aspects of the Integrated Nutrition Pathway for Acute Care (INPAC), an evidence-based nutrition care pathway.

Beginning with testing on two medical inpatient units over 12 months, followed by scale and spread to the other two major NH sites, the average number of patient-identified mealtime barriers was sustainably reduced and a change in nutrition care culture occurred. We anticipate that an overall reduction in these mealtime barriers will lead to an improvement in food intake and ultimately reduce patient length of stay. 

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