Project Content Description.
With the aim of establishing activities in the field of clinical nutrition, the current Department of Clinical Nutrition at the Oncological Institute of Ljubljana (OIL) was established in 2008. Clinical nutrition is a specialty that enables more successful treatment of cancer patients, as it represents a parallel clinical path of nutritional support and treatment of nutritional disorders and nutrition-related conditions. As part of this activity, we have also begun to develop a home parenteral nutrition system for the treatment of patients with gastrointestinal filure.
An interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, dietitians, and other health professionals take care of the treatment of patients at nutritional risk and malnourished. The department is involved in clinical work, research and education.
With the help of a project of the Slovenian Ministry of Health, in 2017 - 2019, we implemented as a pilot project the clinical pathway of nutritional care for hospitalized patients at OIL, the aim of which is prevention, early detection and treatment of nutritional disorders. The effective implementation of the clinical pathway was the basis for the preparation and implementation of a project co-funded by the Slovenian Ministry of Health entitled "Training and Education of Health Care Personnel for the Implementation of the Clinical Pathway of Nutritional Care at the Tertiary and Secondary Level of Health Care", which will run from 2020 to 2022. Since nutritional support is most effective when implemented from the beginning of treatment as a parallel therapeutic pathway for different disease states, the purpose of the project was to optimize the clinical pathway of nutritional care process at OIL and to introduce the clinical pathway of nutritional care in Slovenian hospitals. The main objectives of the program are:
- Extension of the expertise and clinical experience gained in the years of activity of the Department of Clinical Nutrition to the OIL model of nutritional care of patients to other health care institutions at the tertiary and secondary levels of health care in Slovenia.
- Education and training of the nutrition team of another health care institution with regard to the introduction and implementation of the clinical pathway in their own health care institution and education of health care staff on the importance and methods of implementation of the clinical pathway of nutritional care of patients.
The professional content of the educational program is guided by the national strategic health policy guidelines, which primarily define access to professional nutritional treatment for all patients at the starting points of optimal nutritional care for all (ONCA) and the platform of patients' right to comprehensive medical treatment, improve the quality of patients' medical treatment, and ensure comprehensive and continuous medical treatment for patients at all levels of health care. This can be ensured through timely, professional, and holistic nutritional medical treatment and therapy for nutritionally impaired or malnourished patients in clinical practice, which includes expertly planned, evidence-based nutritional interventions in addition to specific treatment of underlying disease.