Positive patient outcomes in acute care: Does obtaining and recording accurate weight make a difference?

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A crucial part of the assessment process is access to an accurate
patient weight. To understand how health care practitioners access
recorded weight it is necessary to examine the possible barriers to this
in everyday practice and the relationship to patient outcomes. This
paper will examine how patient weight is integrated in existing health
care systems which require accurate weight to ensure positive patient
Australian hospitals.
Primary Argument
Health care standards would suggest that accurate weight measurement is
used by healthcare providers for a variety of inpatient interventions
which include safe prescribing practices, radiation and chemotherapies,
manual handling, skin integrity management and identifying nutritional
risk. The literature supported the notion that the admission process
should include the recording of an accurate weight within the primary
assessment during admission. However, it is evident that implementation
of evidence based screening tools that require documentation of accurate
weight, within patient admission procedures, does not automatically
translate into every day clinical care.
There may be a difference between how weight measurement should be used
and how it is used in practice. All healthcare practitioners require
timely access to an accurate weight to inform the planning of
interventions to ensure provision of appropriate, safe and quality care.
Further work is needed to understand the barriers and drivers involved
in obtaining and utilising recorded weight within acute care. Future
research has the potential to inform healthcare practitioners of the
positive impact of an accurate patient weight on patient outcomes and
guide developments in clinical practice.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adult weight
  • Adverse events
  • Clinical practice
  • Risk

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  • PUI: 364639032
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-84859826868
  • SGR: 84859826868
  • ISSN: 08130531


  • Alison Evans

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