Project update: Care Pathways for Nutrition problems in surgical patients with Gastro Intestinal Cancer (CP4NutriGICan)

In E-P-A newsletter Issue 12, November 2013, we informed you of a project aimed at developing and implementing care pathways for nutrition problems. It is now time to give you a quick update. The project, supported by an unconditional educational grant by Baxter, is executed in 3 hospitals in Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands, and is a good example of working with a care pathway as a complex intervention. A complex intervention is always a combination of several ‘active ingredients’. In the case of care pathways these ingredients are: 1) the evidcence based key interventions and indicators for the target group; 2) feedback on the current care process on the basis of the key indicators; and 3) an improvement strategy to improve the care process.

So far, we have produced an overview of evidence based interventions and indicators by performing a systematic review. An international expert panel validated the output. A formal publication of the systematic review is under review with in the research team.

The 12 participating hospitals have performed a retrospective patient record analysis to provide data on the current care process. This has resulted in a 140 page feedback report, which can be used as a benchmark. We have organized feedback sessions per country for the participating teams, where we shared the results. Some of the results, such as time between decision for surgery and surgery, or number of patients that where screened for malnutrition, were real eye-openers for the teams, indicating room for improvement.

The next phase of the project is the quality improvement strategy (active ingredient #3) which is planned for the next few months. After this, the teams will perform a prospective analysis, to see if their performance has improved.

We will keep you posted!

The CP4NutriGICan research team,
Ruben van Zelm, MSc; Prof. Kris Vanhaecht (principal investigator); Ellen Coeckelberghs, PhD; Prof. Massimiliano Panella; Prof. Walter Sermeus

Lead contact person for Baxter: mrs. L. Nonneman