Jack Bell – emerging researcher

Dietitian Jack Bell

Jack’s PhD at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) addressed the issue of malnutrition in hip fracture patients, a condition that affects one in two hip fracture patients, and one in three of all patients admitted to hospital. The initial driver for his research was that common nutrition care techniques promoted by research were not particularly effective in the real world setting. He also observed that malnutrition seemed to be an important, but often overlooked, predictor of patient outcomes.

Specifically, his research looked at how a patient’s nutritional care could be more effectively delivered through a multidisciplinary team approach rather than relying on intensive individualised care delivered by a dietitian. Jack says that the traditional role of a hospital dietitian focused on highly individualised assessment, medical nutrition therapy and monitoring for patients with malnutrition.

“My research showed that to drive change to practice in health care, it needs to involve all members of the team – not just one person,” Jack says.

“The dietitian’s role is to ensure all the team, and the systems in the background, work together to provide 24/7 nutrition care.”

As a direct result of his PhD, Jack was engaged as an international expert to support the implementation of the ‘More 2 Eat’ Project. This three-year project coordinated through the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force and partnering with the Canadian Frailty Network, Canadian Nutrition Society, and Canadian Malnutrition Task Force, aims to implement a pathway for malnutrition screening and intervention into a range of diverse Canadian Hospitals.

Preliminary findings of the More 2 Eat project show improved patient outcomes through greater engagement of the inter-disciplinary team in delivering a patient’s nutritional care.

“Findings from this study are very exciting, because we haven’t just improved inpatient nutrition care we have also identified the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of hospital staff that have led to these improvements,” Jack says.

Jack will now lead a research study across six Queensland sites applying the Canadian research findings. Funded through the Allied Health Professional Office
of Queensland and the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation, and partnered with The University of Queensland and Griffith University, the study is
investigating how hospitals can deliver a systematised, interdisciplinary approach to nutritional care for patients across Queensland hospitals.

“My early research created a pathway for us to now investigate new ways of thinking about how to best deliver appropriate nutritional care to our patients; so
that we can deliver the best nutrition care, at the right time, and in the right place,” Jack says.

“It is exciting that there is potential to make real positive change around nutritional care in patients, not only here in Queensland, but across the globe.”

Jack is currently a senior dietitian at The Prince Charles Hospital and has recently been appointed to a conjointPrincipal Research Fellow position for Allied Health in the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, and the University of Queensland.

2017-11-27T23:20:17+00:0027 November 2017|
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