New diagnostic platform for hospital dietitians aims to improve patient nutrition and recovery outco

By: Enteral Nutrition Association of South Africa
JOHANNESBURG - July 7, 2022 - PRLog -- Nutritional support for hospitalised patients can now be managed using the Medical Nutrition Therapy Tool (MNTT), a locally developed software platform  believed to be a first for South Africa. This is a simple yet effective tablet-based platform that will improve the clinical outcomes for patients by tracking the metabolic and nutritional progress of patients throughout their hospital stay. The tool was developed jointly by The Hospital Dietitians Interest Group (HDIG) and the Enteral Nutrition Association of South Africa (ENASA).
Because critically ill patients often present with hypermetabolic or catabolic states, nutritional support plays a vital role in their clinical management programme. Protein loss and caloric deficit in these patients is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, while muscle mass depletion leads to impaired function, more ventilator days, additional complications, increased length of hospital stay and generally poor clinical outcomes.
"There is a real need for a systematic approach in order to optimise nutritional support for critically ill patients. The primary goals of nutritional support are to preserve or restore lean body mass, improve immune function and avert metabolic complications," Adele Marais, hospital dietitian, at the Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg,
"Each patient's nutritional needs should be individually determined and a tailored nutritional therapy regimen must specify the type of solution, delivery site, access devices and administration rate and method," explains Marais.
"We realised that a specific tool was needed that could monitor the specific metabolic and nutritional needs of individual patients, and thus improve their health outcomes and reduce costs," says Marais. The MNTT is the result of that work.
Marais explains how the HDIG and ENASA are now offering this tool as part of their mission to provide free resources to their members.
"The Medical Nutrition Therapy Tool (MNTT) is a local South African development and a wonderful example of what can be achieved when medical associations collaborate," she says.
Because of its interactive, PDF-based design that operates on an iPad or similar tablet, hospital dietitians can easily map the patient nutrition journey in hospital from admission to discharge.
"We urge healthcare workers, particularly dietitians, to investigate and become competent in using this freely available tool to the benefit of their patients," says Naazneen Khan, Chairperson of ENASA.
For more information on how the MNTT tool works in practice and how it can be obtained from the Hospital Dietitians Interest Group and the Enteral Nutrition Association of South Africa, interested parties can email or

Naazneen Khan
Source:Enteral Nutrition Association of South Africa
Location:Johannesburg - Gauteng - South Africa
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