Nutrition Support Teams

Nutrition Support Teams (NST) first became active in 1973 at Boston City Hospital, following the development and popularization of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in 1968 and the recognition of the need for a team of medical specialists to take a multidisciplinary approach to nutrition management and support in the United States. NSTs then spread rapidly throughout the U.S. and to other Western countries. However, by 1997 only a few institutions in Japan were known to have established NSTs.

However, in 1998 a new NST management system, the "Potluck Party Method (PPM)," was developed specifically to address the medical situation in Japan. This system was not limited to the exclusive teams found in Western countries, and led to the establishment of full-fledged department-wide NSTs in Japan.

The Japanese Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (now the Japanese Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism) has been making efforts to promote and raise awareness of NSTs since 2001. Currently, more than 1,300 institutions have already established NSTs, and many more are moving forward with preparations to do so.

The sudden spread of NSTs in Japan led to their inclusion as an evaluation item by the Japan Council for Quality Health Care, as well as the calculation of additional medical fees for nutritional management in 2006 and additional medical fees for Nutrition Support Team activities in April 2010.

The NST Committee of the Japanese Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism has established an accreditation system for institutions that operate NSTs, to raise awareness among healthcare professionals throughout Japan of the usefulness and importance of NSTs and to encourage the establishment and operation of NSTs in as many medical institutions as possible with the support of the Japan Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.