Background: The modified NUTrition Risk In the Critically ill (mNUTRIC) score has been demonstrated to accurately quantify the risk of negative patient outcomes and discriminate which patients will benefit the most from nutrition intervention in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting. Calculation of an mNUTRIC score, however, may be time-intensive and unable to be performed within available resources. This may prevent high-risk patients from being identified and reviewed by a dietitian.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of using the mNUTRIC tool to screen for patients at increased nutrition risk and to determine the proportion of those high-risk patients who were reviewed by a dietitian.
Subjects/methods: A retrospective observational study of 260 critically ill patients was conducted between 01/01/2017 and 30/05/2017 in a 20-bed Australian tertiary ICU. Participants included all adults admitted to the ICU for more than 72 h. Feasible implementation was defined as calculating an mNUTRIC score in <5 min per patient where all data were available for >90% of patients.
Results: A median time of 4 min and 54 s (interquartile range: 4.3–5.6 min) was required to calculate each mNUTRIC score, with 96% of scores calculated in <10 min. Data were available to calculate mNUTRIC scores for 93% (241/260) of patients. The mNUTRIC tool identified 81 patients at high nutrition risk, 44% (36/81) of whom were not reviewed by a dietitian. There were 21 high-risk patients who were purposefully excluded from dietetic review for various clinical reasons, leaving 15 high-risk patients (19%) who were not reviewed by a dietitian.
Conclusions: Implementation of the mNUTRIC tool was not feasible in our ICU, given the set dietetic resources (0.6 full-time equivalent). Shared responsibility of nutrition screening or automating the calculation may be possible solutions to increase feasibility of mNUTRIC screening.