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A standardized nutrition care process and language are essential components of a conceptual model to guide and document nutrition care and patient outcomes


      Documentation of clinical services within health care systems has become increasingly significant because greater amounts of information are now required by accrediting agencies, third-party payers, researchers, and others in their evaluation of patient care and because of the increasing emphasis on patient outcomes. Given the multiple users who depend on health care information in the patient record, it is imperative that clinical nutrition practitioners implement a standardized nutrition care process and language to document comprehensively and communicate meaningful information concerning their role in improving patient outcomes. A body of work has led to the development and adoption of a standardized nutrition care process for the dietetics profession. A standardized nutrition care process consistent with the scientific method and a standardized language are two essential components required to articulate a conceptual model for clinical nutrition practice and documentation and distinguish clinical dietetics’ unique body of knowledge. The conceptual model serves as an organizing framework to standardize and guide nutrition practitioners’ clinical judgments or critical thinking processes and document information linking nutrition care to patient outcomes.
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      N. Hakel-Smith is manager, Clinical Nutrition Services, BryanLGH Medical Center, Lincoln, NE, USA


      N.M. Newis is an associate professor, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA