Patients Select Food from Restaurant-Style Menus
The patients at both of hospitals now have the opportunity to select their food choices for meals from a restaurant-style menu with many tasty choices. Dining staff will visit patients in their rooms during the day to take their food orders. Emergency and outpatient patients will also have access to the food, and patients in the Family Birth Centers will be able to call in their orders to the centralized Dining call center, located at Appleton Medical Center.
SMC launched the new system last week, and RMC went live earlier this month.
The rollout of the new system has gone well, according to Carol Peotter, manager of ThedaCare Dining Services. Nurses reported that “the patients feel they are at the Hilton!” she said, adding that one 81-year old patient called his meal “The best hospital grub ever.”
At SMC, dining staff noticed after the first meal a decrease in food waste – both with increased consumption of meals by the patient, and by producing to the order, nothing extra.
“I personally was amazed by the dedication of this Dining Services Team and am so proud of them!” Peotter said. “Everyone is learning a new role, new skills, and the new menu too. They worked with a positive attitude, open to the new room service methods, and had great ideas to improve the work flows. I am so thankful for all of the staff knowledge and expertise they have.”
That sentiment was echoed by Kathy Reinke, director of ThedaCare Dining Services. “Providing our patients an opportunity to select what they want to eat at both SMC and RMC has been on our ‘wish list’ for a long time, as it provides a more personalized service and supports nutrition intake for the patient. We now are able to share the software and technology of our robust Room Service program, Computrition, by centralizing Dining Services operations last year. There have been many hours invested in recipe and menu development, so it is wonderful to see the efficiencies gained by use at multiple locations.” Reinke said. “Also, a computer interface that includes information of diet orders and food allergy alerts was accomplished with an interface between Computrition and EPIC this fall. This important improvement for patient safety is something we want spread to all locations.”
“It is our goal to provide nutritious, tastefully presented meals with outstanding customer service for all our patients,” she continued. “We are able to accomplish this by aligning our resources and working together as a team.”
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, Berlin Memorial Hospital, and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.