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Oral Nutritional Supplements Linked to Reduced Hospital Stay

Hospital patients with nutritional deficiencies often have a longer recovery time that can potentially cost thousands of dollars. A recent study has found it may be possible to reduce both the time and cost of recovery through the use of oral nutritional supplements.

The researchers examined data from the Impact of Oral Nutritional Supplementation on Hospital Outcomes study, which included more than 1 million adult inpatient cases who either received or didn’t receive oral nutritional supplements. Length of hospital stay and cost of treatment were measured for both groups and the probability of readmission was calculated.

The researchers found that patients who took oral nutritional supplements had hospital stays that were 21% shorter (2.3 days) and a 21.6% reduction in hospitalization cost ($4,734). They also had a 6.7% lower chance of being readmitted to the hospital in the 30 days following release.

Researchers from Abbott conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 13, 2013, in American Journal of Managed Care.

Oral nutritional supplements are multi-nutrient liquid, semi-solid or powder products that provide macronutrients and micronutrients aimed at increasing nutritional intake. Studies have shown that when used in the treatment of disease-related malnutrition, oral nutritional supplements may reduce infections, improve well-being and activities of daily living and reduce the number of pressure ulcers and poorly healing wounds.

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