EHR-Based Food Insecurity Screening Process Feasible

Increase reported in encounters that are screened for food insecurity; 5.8 percent of encounters were food insecure

THURSDAY, Sept. 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- An electronic health record (EHR)-based food insecurity screening process can be implemented and increases screening and identification of food-insecure patients, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

Emily Gore, M.D., from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, and colleagues developed and implemented a process to screen hospitalized adults for food insecurity and connect them with food resources, which was piloted in a 26-bed hospital medicine unit. A validated two-item screening tool was integrated into the EHR nursing admission workflow. Two weeks of nursing education were provided before process implementation. Screening adherence was monitored weekly and adjustments were made.

The researchers found that after 28 weeks, 61.5 percent of 587 encounters were screened (compared with a baseline of 2.2 percent); 5.8 percent of these patients were identified as food-insecure.

"By implementing a process for food insecurity screening and informing the assessment of all social determinants of health in our hospital setting, our pilot is a significant first step in promoting comprehensive care that addresses the overall health and well-being of patients hospitalized at our institution," the authors write.

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