Objective: The proper management of nutritional support remains a challenging task in many Western hospitals. This study aimed at reporting a 4-y survey on the centralized management of nutritional support by a malnutrition task force in an Italian research hospital. Methods: The requests for nutritional supports, the number of patients treated with enteral nutrition in the medical and surgical units, and the number of home artificial nutritional support activated were recorded from 2005 to 2008. Results: The median number of first and follow-up visits per month significantly increased from 16 (25th-75th percentiles 13-26) in 2005 to 74 (25th-75th percentiles 69-82) in 2008 (P < 0.001) and from 56 (25th-75th percentiles 42-82) in 2005 to 101 (25th-75th percentiles 90-120) in 2008 (P = 0.001), respectively. This trend was observed also in the number of patients treated with enteral nutrition (from 95 in 2004 to 190 in 2008) and in those on home artificial nutritional support (from 25 in 2004 to 65 in 2008), whereas the number of parenteral nutrition bags produced remained substantially stable. Conclusion: The centralized management of nutritional support is a successful strategy, which provides the appropriate prescription of artificial nutrition during hospitalization and at discharge. Multidisciplinary nutrition support teams or task forces should be created in every hospital. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
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