As hospital administrators continue to work toward increasing patient satisfaction while reducing food waste, an increasing number of hospitals are turning to some form of patient room service at meal times. For the implementation of any room service program to be successful, it must be efficient and cost-effective to establish and maintain. Assess whether your foodservice department is large enough to accommodate on-demand meal orders, and ensure that technology use in your hospital is sufficient to operate a room service program. Physical needs include access to dedicated elevators, an adequate staffing structure, and internal production methods that can adapt to meet changing patient demands. Through the use of mobile technology and a room service software program, your hospital can give patients the option of ordering meals when they are awake and hungry, supporting patient outcomes and increasing patient satisfaction scores. Patients are not asked about food service when completing Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAPS) surveys, but the way they feel about food quality and choices can affect how they rate other aspects of their hospital stay. Understanding the role these surveys play in hospital Medicare reimbursements makes improving patient satisfaction the driving force behind upgrades to hospital food service departments, with changes like adding room service.
When introducing the room service model, be sure that it meets the unique needs of patients in each level of care provided by your facility. For patients with physical limitations, speech or hearing impediments, or cognitive difficulties, having a member of your dietary staff take the patient through the menu with a tablet or console ensures personalized service and ordering accuracy. For other patients, offering room service through an interactive television system or call center may be preferable.
The right balance of technology, software, and staff provides hospitals and facilities with a room service hybrid that has a measurable effect on patient satisfaction by giving patients a wide range of choices, with the added benefit of reducing waste, making better use of resources, and increasing productivity. Vision Software is a full-service provider of powerful software suites and feature-rich applications that are easy to implement, and come backed by expert support. For more than 25 years, we have been bringing innovative software for the healthcare industry. With programs that support patient Room Service, Patient Menu Checking, and Tray Tracking, you can fully automate patient meal service in a way that positively affects patient outcomes and your bottom line. Learn more about the Vision Software software suite of applications by calling us at 629.777.8989 or fill in the contact form in the sidebar to get started with a free consultation and demo.