Since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals have a lot to prioritize when it comes to patients’ safety and experience.
Then, why should Hospital Directors invest their time and resources to focus on improving their food services?
Food is fundamental to the human experience. A carefully planned menu is key to improving patients’ health and experience. This is because hospital food does not poke or prod a patient.
Menu with the right information offers a comforting choice for patients to decide what they want to eat over the period of their stay.
Many top hospitals have added personal touches with dietitians visiting the patients and talking through their needs. Influencing expectations helps patients focus on the positive, learn and accept the dietary modifications required.
In this digital age, anyone can order anything from a smartphone. People want to order food they prefer; hospital food is no exception. Instead of sending up trays of unordered food that hospital stewards will have to throw away later, a restaurant-style room service menu with choices may be a solution to the mundane dining experience.
The benefits of the room service model are obvious. Apart from wider variety of choices, less than half as much wasted food (29% for traditional model against 12% for the room service model) is translated to patients eating more and getting better nourishment from food.
Patients can also have something to look forward to, and perk their day whilst being in the hospital for treatment, having given the option to choose their preferred menu items (e.g. appetizer, soup, main course , dessert and beverage).
Other food trends sprouting across our healthcare industry regionally include foods from local celebrity chef recipes, meatless plant-based protein food, food from across the cultural spectrum, in-room bed-side cooking, room-to-room dim-sum and dessert trolley, and herb and vegetables garden grown on-site.
Indeed, there are lots of great ideas out there!
But great ideas must be adapted for the restrictive hospital environment and made efficient with long-term sustainable planning and smart foodservice management.
Driving patient satisfaction score above 85% is always challenging.
For any healthcare institutions who want to differentiate themselves, it is perhaps time to put aside your legacy caterer and bring new exciting innovations and personalized food options to the bedside table.
Feel free to call our experts at Healthcare Foodservice Consultants.