A patient nutrition care plan is of little value unless it is quickly and efficiently implemented. Recognition of the value of appropriate and timely medical nutrition intervention in improving patients' nutritional status led to the development of the Clinical Privileges for Dietitian Nutrition Order Writing (CPD NOW) program at a long-term, acute-care hospital. CPD NOW is a formalized approach specifying the types of nutrition care orders that may be written by a registered dietitian (RD), allowing nutrition recommendations to be implemented immediately. More than 95% of the facility's primary attending physicians participate in this optional program. Development included an initial evaluation of physician use of RD recommendations, identification of problems in implementing these recommendations, formulation of an efficient nutrition order writing system, and adoption of this system by the medical staff. In the first 5 years of implementation, the benefits achieved by this program were: expedited order implementation, improved patient nutritional response, and increased RD responsibility. A survey demonstrated physician support of this new RD role. CPD NOW may be applicable as a model to develop similar systems in other hospitals.
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