Crossing the quality chasm: Building a safe nutrition system

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14 Scopus citations


Recent reports to Congress and the public from the Institute of Medicine underscore concern about the quality of healthcare in America. The nutrition community has focused most of its attention on the report titled The Role of Nutrition in Maintaining Health in the Nation's Elderly, which evaluated nutrition services coverage for the Medicare population. Of equal importance was the recent publication of two reports from the Committee on Quality of Health Care in America: To Err is Human - Building a Safer Health System and Crossing the Quality Chasm - A New Health System for the 21st Century. IV nutrition support was a breakthrough in medical care that has become a standard tool in treating patients who cannot eat for prolonged periods of time. It is also a medical treatment that can result in harm to patients. As problems with patient safety associated with the use of IV nutrition were documented, safer methods to deliver this life-saving form of treatment were developed and evaluated. Although an interdisciplinary team approach has been shown to be the safest way to administer IV nutrition, this system is costly and not universally used. Alternatives to the interdisciplinary team approach should be evaluated to assure that patients receive optimum nutrition care. The tools that can be used to improve patient safety include self-assessment of practitioners who routinely use nutrition support in their practice, curricular-based continuing education programs, board certification in nutrition support practice, and the use of clinical guidelines to assist in making clinical decisions. By developing and promoting these tools, A.S.P.E.N. is committed to building a safe nutrition system so every patient receives optimal nutrition care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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