How A Hospital Justified The Cost Of An Extra Dietitian With A Malnutrition Pilot Program

Dietitians impact patient outcomes. Patient outcomes impact a hospital’s bottom line. If you’ve ever wondered how an acute care dietitian can directly impact both, this success story is for you. In late 2019 a Clinical Nutrition Manager contacted Dietitians On Demand for one additional clinical dietitian. The results were outstanding.

Lisa is a Clinical Nutrition Manager who knew that malnutrition occurs in 30 to 50 percent of hospitalized patients, negatively impacting patient outcomes. After hiring an additional FTE dietitian to support her new malnutrition program, the hospital saw significant increases in revenue:

  • $246,746.98 increase in revenue from February through October 2019
  • $5,016.09 average revenue increase per patient
  • 59.7% increase in payment per patient

“The hospital is so impressed with the revenue results of the malnutrition program, and we wouldn’t have had these results without an extra dietitian on staff.” – Lisa, CNM at 220-bed Florida hospital*

 *Please note: Name changed due to sharing of sensitive information.

CHALLENGES

Lisa knew that malnutrition had been a problem for quite some time and that in addition to impacting patient outcomes, malnutrition diagnosis could add financial benefit to the hospital. But the hospital had no formal malnutrition program and inadequate staff to support the effective implementation of a program. Lisa needed another dietitian to successfully implement a malnutrition program. And because Lisa had a specific goal in mind, she needed a very specific dietitian: a highly competent dietitian, with acute care experience, who was familiar with using the malnutrition diagnosis criteria.

“I had this vision to get this extra person to the Med/Surg unit and seeing every single admission, and that was something we couldn’t do without extra staff,” Lisa said.

HOW DIETITIANS ON DEMAND HELPED

Lisa and her director reached out to two dietitian staffing companies to find their additional staff and after vetting both, she chose Dietitians On Demand.

“The staff were personable, understood my needs exactly and I felt a level of confidence that I didn’t feel with the other company,” Lisa said. “Plus, I had such a positive experience working with Dietitians On Demand as an employee in the past.”

With a nationwide network of highly-qualified dietitians, and recruiters skilled at finding just the right candidate, Dietitians On Demand was able to place a dietitian who immediately went to work improving patient care and impacting the hospital’s bottom line.

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RESULTS, RETURN ON INVESTMENT & FUTURE PLANS

With the help of a Dietitians On Demand consultant dietitian, this hospital was able to earn an extra $5,016.09 per patient for a total increase in revenue of $246,746 in nine months.

“We are now easily able to justify the cost of additional staff and the conversion fee associated with hiring the contract dietitian onto our staff permanently,” Lisa said. “We plan to bring her on with us full-time as soon as possible.”

Going forward, Lisa plans to evaluate the data related to patient outcomes, including pressure injuries and readmission rates. “We know that there’s a link,” she said.

 

Dietitians On Demand is the industry leader in clinical nutrition staffing. We specialize in expertly matching a dietitian to a client site. We hire dietitians with any type of specialty. Our dietitians work permanent, temporary and PRN positions, for situations like FMLA, vacancy, and maternity leave. Check out our job openingsrequest your coverage, or visit our store today!