On Tuesday, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), and Baxter International, a global leader in nutrition therapy, announced “SmartPN,” a comprehensive collaboration providing healthcare professionals with educational tools on the appropriate use of parenteral nutrition (PN) therapy.
PN is the intravenous administration of nourishment to those who cannot eat or absorb enough food to maintain good nutrition.1This nourishment may include protein, carbohydrate, fat, minerals, electrolytes, vitamins and other trace elements. PN plays a critical role in helping reduce malnutrition and achieve better possible health outcomes.
The educational resources included in SmartPN are based on new consensus recommendations issued by ASPEN, which are intended to help promote clinical benefits and minimize risks associated with PN. The campaign is designed for physicians, pharmacists, dietitians, nurses and other clinicians–all part of the critical team influencing patient nutritional care.
“Recent publications highlight an unmet need for PN–particularly in certain acute and critical care settings–and clinical benefits for patients who receive PN in specific situations,” said Mary Russell, senior manager, Medical Affairs, Baxter, and President-Elect, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “As a leader in nutrition care, it’s important for us to work with highly respected organizations like ASPEN to help increase awareness about the crucial importance of nutrition care and help clinicians most effectively administer this potential life-saving and life-sustaining therapy to patients.”
PN is an important therapy used in adults, children and infants to help address a variety of indications. Adult hospitalizations with a diagnosis of malnutrition can lead to longer hospital stays, more comorbidities and have five times the likelihood of death compared with other adult hospital stays, Baxter explains. Hospital stays involving malnutrition are also associated with higher costs, with up to approximately $25,000 per patient for the most common form of malnutrition, and accounting for nearly $42 billion or 12.1 percent of aggregate, non-maternal, non-neonatal healthcare costs.
“Our understanding of how critically ill patients benefit from nutritional therapy continues to evolve. As it does, we must ensure healthcare teams carefully evaluate the nutritional status of those they care for and provide appropriate care, whether oral, enteral or PN,” said Peggi Guenter, senior director of clinical practice, quality and advocacy, ASPEN. “Educational resources available as part of this campaign will help to inform and support decisions related to PN by helping identify best practices, reduce variations in practice and ultimately enhance patient safety.”
In addition to providing education about PN appropriateness, both ASPEN and Baxter are committed to raising awareness about the potential consequences of disease-related malnutrition and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. ASPEN offers a comprehensive Malnutrition Solution Center online for healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers to learn how to recognize and manage disease-related malnutrition. Healthcare providers also can learn more at Baxter’sNutrition Academy online, which provides some practical guidance on how and when to implement PN in order to help make it accessible to more patients with nutritional deficits.