Hospitals are making progress in giving patient nutrition greater emphasis, but more can be done to limit the negative effects of malnutrition, according to a coalition of health care organizations targeting the issue.

“The biggest thing that we would like to [ensure is] that all hospitals are recognizing and diagnosing all patients at risk when they enter a hospital,” says Melissa Parkhurst, M.D., medical director of the Nutrition Support Service at the University of Kansas Hospital, and an official for the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition. Parkhurst represents one of the members, the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Citing research statistics that indicate malnourished patients are more likely to experience such things as a surgical-site infection or a pressure ulcer, among other negative effects, the alliance outlined some key strategies for action in its first progress report.