Organization and management of clinical nutrition in Spain. How do we assess the quality of our activities?

Tomás Martín Folgueras, María Dolores Ballesteros Pomar, Rosa Burgos Peláez, María Victoria Calvo Hernández, Luis Miguel Luengo Pérez, José Antonio Irles Rocamora, Gabriel Olveira, Alfonso Vidal Casariego, Julia Alvarez Hernández


Introduction: Among the objectives of the SENPE Management Working Group is the development of knowledge and tools related to the evaluation of health outcomes.

Objectives: To obtain an approximate profile of clinical nutrition in hospitals in Spain, specifically concerning its organization, endowment, activities and quality indicators.

Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted in 2013 through a structured survey sent to a random sample of 20% of hospitals from the network of the National Health System of Spain, stratified by the number of hospital beds.

Results: The overall response rate was 67% (83% in hospitals with over 200 beds). In 65% of hospitals, clinical nutrition is run by a coordinated team or unit, with a doctor working full time in only 50% of centers. Other professionals are often not recognized as part of the team or unit. There is a specialized monographic nutrition clinic in 62% of centers and 72% have more than 40 new inpatient consultations per month (27% with more than 80 per month). Among the centers with a clinical nutrition team or unit, there is a greater tendency to monitor quality indicators related to clinical practice.

Conclusions: There is widespread addition of clinical nutrition teams and units in hospitals in Spain. However, truly multidisciplinary organization is not often found. High workloads are assumed in relation to staffing levels. The existence of well-organized structures may be associated with benefits that directly affect attendance

Palabras clave

Quality of health care. Quality indicators of health care. Malnutrition. Organization and administration.

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