Physical exams involve much more than just observing and examining a patient's body. It includes observing their surroundings and their environment. Hospitalized patients, upon admission, often have a degree of anorexia which gradually resolves as their medical condition improves. Thus, a quick way to assess the overall improvement of hospitalized patients is to look at their plate after breakfast when rounding. Patients with a clean plate after eating their full meal often are close to or ready to be discharged home.
Citation. Heston, Thomas F. (2023). Assessing Illness and Recovery With the Clean Plate Sign. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8207106