Patient Outcome Metrics: The Missing Piece of Inpatient Staffing


Dietitian staffing remains an area with little data to influence hospital administrators or guide clinical nutrition managers’ decision-making. Simple staffing ratios based on number of beds, patient acuity or peer benchmarking have long been the norm. Current workforce challenges have amplified the need for appropriate staffing matched to dietitian responsibilities and raised the bar for quality evidence-based staffing metrics. In this session, we explore new evidence forging the connection between dietetics staffing levels and patient outcomes. Thanks to a new nationwide inpatient study, we now have data illustrating the relationship between time spent by a registered dietitian nutritionist on medical nutrition therapy, patient outcomes and administrative data. This session will share data and practical resources to help you assess your own staffing levels using these exciting results and incorporate study findings to optimize staffing at your facility.

Learning Objectives

Describe how inpatient staffing and patient outcome data was collected and measured

Explain the relationship between dietitian time and patient outcomes in acute care settings

Apply staffing study results to optimize your hospital’s staffing plan

Performance Indicators

14.1 Employs principles of productivity to optimize safe, ethical, and efficient resource utilization

4.2 Exercises critical thinking when faced with opportunities and challenges

7.4 Participates in and leads quality control and improvement activities to improve delivery of services


Rosa Hand

Associate Professor, Nutrition

Case Western Reserve University

Barbara Lusk

Clinical Nutrition Manager | Director, Dietetic Internship Program

UC Davis Medical Center


Ainsley Malone

Nutrition Support Dietitian

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

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