Identifying Geriatric Patients at Risk for Malnutrition: A Quality Improvement Project

Academic Article


  • Malnourishment leads to poor outcomes in the geriatric surgical population and national guidelines recommend preoperative nutrition screening. However, care practices do not reflect current recommendations. As a quality-improvement project, a validated nutritional screening tool, the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF), was implemented in the preoperative clinic of a large academic health center to identify patients at-risk for malnutrition prior to elective surgery. Patients were screened during the nursing intake process and categorized as no nutritional risk; at-risk for malnourishment; or severely malnourished. During the four-week screening period, 413 patients met inclusion criteria with 67.8% (n = 280) screened. No nutritional risk was identified in 77.5% (n = 215) of patients, 18.2% (n = 51) were at-risk, and 4.3% (n = 12) were malnourished. This project will inform and guide a prehabilitation plan for nutrition optimization to improve healthcare quality, outcomes, and costs in the geriatric surgical population.
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    Author List

  • Mays LC; Drummonds JW; Powers S; Buys DR; Watts PI