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Mater Room Service wins international award

Friday, 6 November 2015

Mater Room Service wins international award

The team at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane (MPHB) has been awarded the CBORD International Visionary Award for Room Service.

Implemented in June 2013 at MPHB and in October 2015 at Mater Private Hospital Springfield, through a collaboration between food services and nutrition and dietetics, the award winning room service was driven by a desire to create a better service for patients, enabling them to order from a personalised menu, which is clinically appropriate to their individual dietary requirements.

The CBORD International Visionary Award winner is chosen based on their ability to illustrate what it means to be pioneers in systems integration and developing new business applications that create valuable services for their customers. Prior to implementing room service at MPHB, a fully manual, paper based, traditional set meal time hospital meal service was in place. Like many hospitals, patients completed their menu choice the day prior to meals, with little interaction with meal order staff.

Food Services Manager, Liam O’Toole acknowledged that under a traditional system, patient satisfaction of the quality and flavour of the food was rated poorly during feedback surveys.

“Apart from poor patient feedback, high levels of plate waste and significant general kitchen waste as a result of our forecasting and bulk cooking processes were being recorded,” Mr O’Toole said.

The chosen solution was ‘Room Service Choice on Demand’, a system most commonly seen in the USA. Patients are able to order their meals anytime between 6.30 am and 7 pm and their meal is prepared fresh and delivered within 45 minutes. Breakfast items are available all day and lunch and dinner from 11 am.

An electronic menu management system monitors meals for every patient, ensuring the patient only receives options that are compliant with their medical condition and specific dietary requirements and also alerts staff of missed meals so that the patient’s nutritional intake is constantly monitored.

Patients can choose from a wide range of options such as customized omelettes, Caesar salad with smoked salmon or a healthy burger from the grill.

As part of the Room Service implementation, the MPHB Nutrition and Food Services departments collected pre- and post- implementation data on patient satisfaction, workflow efficiencies, plate waste, cost savings, patient safety, and patient nutritional intake.

The results demonstrate quantifiable data that is rarely collected. MPHB has not only been the first hospital to implement room service in Australia, but has been one of the first hospitals to comprehensively analyse the benefits of a room service system and demonstrate it as a model for improving nutritional and financial benefits.

The reduction in plate waste and use of seasonal produce also integrates with Mater’s ‘Sustainability at Mater’ which has seen a range of different programs implemented in line with Mater’s long term commitment to environmental sustainability.  

Mater Director of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sally McCray said Nutrition and Dietetics would be repeating nutritional intake and plate waste measures on a regular basis.

“A high percentage of patients are ordering food at traditional breakfast and dinner times but we have seen a reduction in ordering at morning tea, afternoon tea and supper times,” Ms McCray said.

“The number one lesson learned is that if patients are left to decide for themselves what and when they will eat, within medically appropriate diet parameters and with increased interactions with meal order staff, their satisfaction increases, their nutritional intake increases and waste and costs decrease.”

Other nominees in the Visionary category included US based institutions James Madison University, Norman Regional Health System and The Juilliard School.

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Tags: dietitian, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, Mater Private Hospital Springfield, Sustainability