Food waste and patient satisfaction are two of the most important topics when overseeing a foodservice department in a senior living facility. Food waste factors into overall food cost and nutritional intake, while patient satisfaction impacts overall physical/mental health. However, one heath network seems to have cracked the code and is now thriving because of the small changes they’ve made – and that is the Nightingale Health Care network in Bellingham, Washington. Over the last few years, several of their facilities have implemented a restaurant-style service model and have seen overwhelming benefits.
Less Food Waste = Less Money Spent
Allowing patients to eat however much of whatever they want, when they want, and making that food to order every time instead of following a schedule means that the actual food being ordered is going to be consumed in full right away. This means, no wasted food from cooking too much, or from patients not eating their meals. In turn, your overall food costs are significantly lower, and you have more money to put into quality over quantity. In fact, dining services director, Jozef Bosman, even boasted how their “per patient daily food costs have plunged from $8.99 per day to $6.23,” which is an amazing reduction of almost 30%. This reduction allowed the Mount Baker facility to donate more than 1,150 lbs of food to a local recovery program over the course of just four months, where it was made into more than 950 meals for people in need throughout the community.
High Patient Satisfaction = Greater Health Benefits
It’s no secret that happier patients are healthier patients, which is why this restaurant-style approach is so successful in so many ways. Giving patients a greater sense of choice and control over their own mealtimes make them feel more independent, which in turn makes them feel better, and in time, hungrier. Once their eating well, of course, their weight is able to increase or stabilize, they have more energy, and their able and willing to socialize more – which further improves their comprehensive health. Nightingale’s program specifically is so successful that it has put them in a position to run out of dining space due to the fact that so many families are joining their loved ones for meals now – they even started “Special Occasion Dining” events specifically for the families of residents.
If you would like to learn more about how our technologies at Vision Software can help you save even more on your mealtimes, reach out to our knowledgeable staff today. Call 629.777.8989, or fill in the free consultation form in the sidebar, to learn more about how our software can positively impact the lives of the patients and visitors you service every day.