Rupinder Dhaliwal, Program Manager CMTF

Canadian Nutrition Society

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS): What Are the Current Surgical Nutrition Practices in Canadian Hospitals?

Nutrition care before, during, and after surgery is integral to promoting early recovery and discharge from hospital. Despite presence of evidence-based multimodal and multidisciplinary approaches to optimal perioperative management that promote nutrition care, i.e. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols, there is a lack of knowledge of current Canadian practices pertaining to surgical nutrition. In this session, Dr. Natalia Bellafonte will share the preliminary results from a national survey of surgical nutrition practices, attitudes, and barriers and highlight areas for improvement. While nearly all healthcare professionals surveyed believed that preoperative malnutrition is a modifiable risk factor associated with worse surgical outcomes and is a treatment priority, less than half screen for malnutrition and fewer treat malnutrition before surgery. Dr. Chelsia Gillis will highlight this knowledge-to-action gap, discuss the consequences of these actions by reviewing recent surgical nutrition evidence and discuss strategies to address this practice gap.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:
1) Describe how perioperative nutrition practices vary on surgical units across Canada
2. Describe how attitudes to adopt and address perioperative practices vary among health professionals in Canada
3. List common barriers to adopting evidence-based perioperative practices in Canada and
4. Explain how ERAS and prehabilitation elements prepare patients to recover well from surgery.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Rupinder Dhaliwal is the Program Manager of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (CMTF)-Canadian Nutrition Society. As a Registered Dietitian for more than 30 years, she has extensive experience in clinical nutrition, research, program management, leadership, and networking. In her work with CMTF, she has advanced the agenda for addressing malnutrition, through the development of the national HSO malnutrition standard 2021, scientific literature reviews, creation of evidence-based presentations & resources, and liaising with multiple working groups and partners. In her previous roles she led the expansion of a team-based diet and exercise intervention by working with several family physicians and primary care clinics across Canada, played an integral part in the foundational work in critical care nutrition research and the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition Support, worked as a PEN® Evidence Analyst for Dietitians of Canada, a Clinical Evidence Review Consultant at Queen’s University and assisted with grant writing for the Canadian Frailty Network. She has co-authored more than 70 scientific publications and has presented at many national and international conferences.