RDNs are the Nutrition Heroes the World Needs
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are cape-less heroes tirelessly working to advance the health and wellness of their communities with science-based food and nutrition education and advocacy. On Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, March 13th MEDHOST says thank you to RDNs for the hard work they put into improving lives on a daily basis.
While much of chronic condition management happens at home, RDNs work with patients through coaching and education to set them up for success. To bridge the gap between home care and office visits, as well as documenting patient encounters to provide physicians a complete picture of patient health, RDNs also must leverage technology effectively.
MEDHOST is proud to support RDNs and physicians with seamless technology solutions designed to enable closer patient-physician relationships and improved documentation.
Chronic Condition Management at Home
Managing chronic conditions can be a challenge because of the unknowns related to how patients are caring for themselves at home. Educational opportunities traditionally are limited to in-person visits with providers, which can make it difficult for patients to keep up with their care.
According to the CDC, six in ten adults have a chronic disease and four in ten adults have two or more! Whether patients are battling diabetes, heart disease, , or other chronic conditions, it’s easy for patients to forget details from visits, like how often to check blood glucose levels or other tasks. In some instances, limited access to health experts like RDNs, who can provide them with valuable nutrition information, can create additional barriers to wellness.
Using a Condition Management App, such as the one developed by MEDHOST, will allow RDNs to provide care that extends beyond the four walls of the hospital office. Patients who may have difficulties managing care on their own or have limited access to professionals can use tools like built-in task reminders or seek out educational resources that help guide their success. MEDHOST helps RDN’s connect with patients and educate them on their chronic disease.
Documenting Patient Progress
A key responsibility of RDNs is the continued tracking of patient diet and health at all stages of condition management. In most cases, dietitians work closely with nurses to track patient details like weight gains or losses, appetite levels, changes in medication, and any newly reported health issues.
In addition to general care data, RDN documentation responsibilities often include ongoing assessments of nutritional health. Detailed documentation provided by RDNs helps determine care aspects such as:
- If health issues are indeed nutrition related
- What underlying problems might be causing nutritional deficiencies
- Best ways to approach problems
- How dietary intervention may help
The information shared between RDNs and attending clinicians helps inform an effective care plan and is critical to achieving gap-free care coordination. A challenge that often arises is that care coordination often takes place in a variety of settings.
At every stage of dietary care, systems that support patient health documentation can act as powerfully effective, time saving tools for RDNs. The ability to enter and share health data in one system that integrates with other care settings can save time, improve relationships with physicians, and ease the patient journey.
Partnering with RDNs
There is a clear necessity to facilitate uninterrupted care coordination between RDNs and clinicians. MEDHOST believes the same tools that allow hospitals to easily track and share patient data with other facilities can hold equal value for dietary experts.
Establishing nutritional health is a key part to improving the health of those suffering from chronic illness. To support those who are charged with assessing, planning, and coaching dietary treatments, MEDHOST offers RDNs access to condition management and care coordination tools that help them save time and work with greater precision.