Nutrition & Healthcare

Outcomes and Benefits

Nutrition support therapy is safe and effective. There are well-documented positive nutritional, health, and financial outcomes when providing nutrition support therapy through oral nutritional supplements (ONS), enteral nutrition (EN), and/or parental nutrition (PN) therapies.

The use of oral nutritional supplements (ONS) in the community has led to a 16.5% reduction in hospitalizations.¹ They promote much-needed nutrient intake for weight gain and weight maintenance in hospitalized patients, including older adults who are frequently at risk for malnutrition.²⋅³ Providing ONS to hospitalized patients has been documented to produce an average cost savings of 12.2%. Cost savings typically result from significantly improved outcomes, reduced mortality, reduced complications, and reduced length of hospital stay.⁴ Providing ONS as part of nutrition support therapies has been found to reduce deaths by up to 24% and reduce complication rates.

Providing EN early to critically ill hospitalized patients can significantly improve patient survival and reduce total costs of care by about $14,000 per patient.⁵ EN has been shown to decrease rates of mortality, infectious complications, organ failure, and surgical interventions, and improves clinical outcomes. ⁶⋅⁷⋅⁸⋅⁹⋅¹⁰⋅¹¹⋅¹²  Moreover, if critically ill patients are unable to meet their energy requirements through EN alone, supplemental PN has been found to reduce the risk of infections and therefore is a cost-saving strategy.¹³ Home PN plays a key role in reducing hospital stays for those who are ready for discharge but still need PN, which can lead to cost savings.¹⁴

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    1. Medical Nutrition International Industry. Better care through better nutrition: Value and effects of Medical Nutrition. 2018. Retrieved from
    2. Correia MI and Waitzberg DL. The impact of malnutrition on morbidity, mortality, length of hospital stay and costs evaluated through a multivariate model analysis. Clinical Nutrition. 2003; 22(3): 235-239.
    3. Silver, Heidi; Kelsey Jones Pratt, Michelle Bruno, Joe Lynch, Kristi Mitchell, and Sharon McCauley. Effectiveness of the malnutrition quality improvement initiative on practitioner malnutrition knowledge and screening, diagnosis, and timeliness of malnutrition-related care provided to older adults admitted to a tertiary care facility: a pilot study. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017; 118(1): 101-109.
    4. Elia, M., Normand, C., Norman, K., and Laviano, A. A systematic review of the cost and cost effectiveness of using standard oral nutritional supplements in the hospital setting. Clinical Nutrition. 2016; 35(2): 370-380.
    5. Doig, G. S., Simpson, F., and Early PN Trial Investigators Group. Early parenteral nutrition in critically ill patients with short-term relative contraindications to early enteral nutrition: a full economic analysis of a multicenter randomized controlled trial based on US costs. Clinicoeconomics and Outcomes Research: Ceor. 2013; 5:369-379.
    6. McClave SA, Chang WK, Dhaliwal R, Heyland DK. Nutrition support in acute pancreatitis: a systematic review of the literature. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2006;30(2):143-156.
    7. Pupelis G, Austrums E, Jansone A, Sprucs R. Wehbi H. Randomised trial of safety and efficacy of postoperative enteral feeding in patients with severe pancreatitis: preliminary report. Eur J Surg. 2000;166(5):383-387.
    8. Pupelis G, Selga G, Austrums E, Kaminski A. Jejunal feeding, even when instituted late, improves outcomes in patients with severe pancreatitis and peritonitis. Nutrition. 2001;17(2):91-94.
    9. Yi F, Ge L, Zhao J, et al. Meta-analysis: total parenteral nutrition versus total enteral nutrition in predicted severe acute pancreatitis. Internal Med. 2012;51(6):523-530.
    10. Al-Omran M, Albalawi ZH, Tashkandi MF, Al-Ansary LA. Enteral versus parenteral nutrition for acute pancreatitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;20(1):CD002837.
    11. Bakker OJ, van Brunschot S, van Santvoort HC, et al. Early versus on- demand nasoenteric tube feeding in acute pancreatitis. N Engl J Med. 2014;371(21):1983-1993.
    12. Sax HC, Warner BW, Talamini MA, et al. Early total parenteral nutrition in acute pancreatitis: lack of beneficial effects. Am J Surg. 1987;153(1):117-124.
    13. Pradelli, L., Graf, S., Pichard, C., and Berger, M. M. Supplemental parenteral nutrition in intensive care patients: A cost saving strategy. Clinical Nutrition. 2018; 37(2): 573-579.
    14. Medical Nutrition International Industry. Better care through better nutrition: Value and effects of Medical Nutrition. 2018. Retrieved from

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