The Nutrition Care Process Model (NCPM) is a graphic visualization that illustrates the steps of the Nutrition Care Process (NCP) and the internal and external factors that impact use of the NCP. The screening and referral and outcomes management systems referenced in the NCPM are outside the nutrition care steps managed directly by the RDN.
The NCP is a systematic approach to providing high quality nutrition care. Use of a care process provides a framework for the RDN to individualize care, taking into account the patient/client’s needs and values and using the best evidence available to make decisions. In 2003, the House of Delegates (HOD) of the Academy of Nutrition of Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) adopted the NCP in an effort to provide dietetics professionals with a framework for critical thinking and decision-making. Use of the NCP can lead to more efficient and effective care and greater recognition of the role of dietetic professionals in all care settings.
The Academy strongly recommends incorporation of the NCP by RDNs in all care settings. The NCP is a required part of dietetics education and is included in the RDN and DTR exams. The Academy is working with healthcare accrediting agencies, such as The Joint Commission so that when they evaluate nutrition services they will use the NCP and Model to guide evaluation of nutrition services.
The NCP and Model is based on the scientific problem solving method and the primary use is for the practitioner. Because the NCP is a framework used for critical thinking and decision-making, it can be utilized by RDNs in all work settings including clinical, management, food service, research, community, and education. Every member of the dietetics profession should be able to describe the NCP and Model that describes what over 50% of the Academy’s members do every day.
The NCP can be used in any charting or documentation system. Many RDNs are using the ADI or ADIME format, which directly parallels the NCP. The Academy understands the RDN may not always have the authority to change the format for documentation, however, use of the NCP will allow the RDN to focus their chart notes and make documentation more concise. Examples of NCP documentation using ADI, SOAP and Narrative formats are available in the NCP section of the Academy’s website.
The DTR works within his/her scope of practice and under the direction and supervision of the RDN in accordance with both state and federal guidance. Refer to the Scope of Practice for additional information, www.eatright.org/scope
The Academy’s website front page has a link to many more documents and many resources for those interested in learning more about the Nutrition Care Process at https://www.eatright.org/ncp
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