Susan Buhler, Research and Evaluation Lead, Nutrition Services, AHS MSc. RD

Nutrition Services
Alberta Health Services

Driving with Data - Optimizing Nutrition Care using the EMR

Disease-related malnutrition is prevalent, negatively impacts patient outcomes, and is under-recognized and under-treated in Canadian hospitals. INPAC is a nutrition care pathway that supports the detection, prevention and treatment of malnutrition. In Alberta, discrete data capture that monitors steps in this pathway were built into the AHS EMR known as Connect Care. Working with data analysts we have been able to build a dashboard that monitors Key Performance Indicators (KPI) along the nutrition care pathway. The data is pulled by individual admission and reports all KPI’s for a patient. The unique value in this type of data collection is that we can track the full pathway for patients as opposed only providing snapshots in time of individual measures. With 24-hour refreshment, the KPI’s reported in the dashboard allow for real time feedback on quality improvement initiatives to increase practices of individual steps of the INPAC pathway. The dashboard can report data provincially, by selected individual or multiple site/s or individual or multiple care unit/s. This presentation will focus on the unique power of having the data extracted from the EMR. How this data can be used to improve malnutrition detection, prevention and treatment from screening to discharge and demonstrate the methods we are using to provide front line dietitians to their own data of what is happening on their patient care units.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Sue Buhler grew up in Saskatoon and took her undergraduate training at the University of Saskatchewan receiving a BSc in Nutrition and a BSc in Biochemistry. She completed further education at the University of Alberta graduating with a MSc in Nutrition and Metabolism. She undertook her internship through the University of Alberta Co-ordinated Internship program and has been a Registered Dietitian in Alberta since for 25 years. Over that time Sue has worked in both rural and urban sites in the province and has covered multiple clinical and public health roles in both adults and pediatrics and inpatients and outpatients. Sue has a passion for research and using data for evidence-based decision making and has had the role of Research and Evaluation Lead at AHS since 2011. She works with her Nutrition Services colleagues across the province on research evaluation and quality improvement projects as well as supporting University of Alberta nutrition students completing their research courses. Sue is very excited about the potential of using the Connect Care EMR in Alberta to enhance and support improved nutrition care to patients. In her free time Sue spends time with her family and especially ski trips with her husband and three sons. Many weekends of the year you can find her on a pool deck officiating swim meets across Western Canada.