Monitoring rates of malnutrition risk in outpatient cancer centers utilizing the malnutrition screening tool embedded into the electronic health record Journal Article uri icon
  • BACKGROUND: The risk of malnutrition in patients with cancer is well documented. However, screening to identify patients at risk in ambulatory cancer centers is not standardized nor uniform. The 2-question Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST) is validated in the ambulatory oncology setting and endorsed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. OBJECTIVE: To test the feasibility of operationalizing and standardizing malnutrition risk assessment across 2 large ambulatory cancer centers by embedding the MST into the electronic health record (EHR) with the goal of identifying and quantifying the prevalence of malnutrition risk in outpatient settings. DESIGN: A Quality Assurance Performance Improvement project was conducted to evaluate malnutrition screening practices by leveraging the EHR. Work standards were developed, implemented, and evaluated to assess the feasibility of utilizing de-identified MST data, entered as discrete variables in an EHR flowsheet, to track monthly MST completion rates and to identify and quantify patients being treated for cancer scoring at risk for impaired nutritional status. PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: Data from 2 large adult ambulatory community cancer centers in the upper Midwest were collected between April 2017 and December 2018. RESULTS: Over a 20-month period, the average monthly MST completion rate was 74%. Of those with completed MST screens, the average percentage of patients identified at nutritional risk (MST score ≥2) was 5% in medical oncology and 12% in radiation oncology. CONCLUSION: It is feasible to (1) integrate and standardize data collection of the MST into existing EHR flowsheets and (2) identify and quantify patients at risk for malnutrition on a consistent basis.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2021
  • Research
  • Cancer
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Nutrition
  • Risk Assessment
  • Screening
  • Surveillance
  • Additional Document Info
  • 121
  • issue
  • 5