Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 9 No 3 Contents FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 9 NUMBER 3 81
HOSPITALS + AGED CARE |
seared sirloin steak with red wine jus, and
macaroni cheese. Desserts include chocolate
brownie, orange and almond cake, and
The menu was reviewed 12 months post-
implementation, and patient feedback and
suggestions are now included in the new menu.
There were four key measures of success
following the implemetation of this new system,
developed and measured as part of a broad
research project by Nutrition and Dietetics:
1. Patient satisfaction, measured through
an external benchmarking organisation.
2. Reasons for waste, measured through a
five-point visual tool, as well as a semi-
structured interview seeking feedback.
3. Kitchen savings and food costs.
4. Nutritional intake-measured through a
five-point visual tool.
Both protein and energy intake were
clinically significantly increased in the room
service model, with a 20 per cent reduction
in total food costs and a 17 per cent
reduction in plate waste.
'This has been partly due to reduced stock,
but also due to significant reduction in kitchen
waste as we moved to cooking on demand,
'In terms of staffing, this model requires
an increase in full-time equivalents in
chefs throughout the day, but is offset by a
decrease in total kitchen staff at peak times.'
The reduction in plate waste also
integrates with Mater's 'Sustainability at
Mater' initiative, which has seen a range
of different programs implemented in line
with Mater's long-term commitment to
An electronic menu management system
can allow relatively quick and easy master
menu changes to be made in order to enable
patient preferences to be accommodated.
Popular or unpopular items can be
determined, and seasonal produce used,
leading to decreased waste and reduced
costs on food purchased.
Director of Nutrition and Dietetics Sally
McCray says that Nutrition and Dietetics
will be repeating nutritional intake and plate
waste measures on a regular basis.
'We are looking to implement a brand-
new module Mobile Intake©, which allows
monitoring of nutrional intake and plate
waste on a meal-by-meal or daily basis, using
live data,' McCray says.
'We are also conducting clinician
stakeholder surveys to obtain feedback on
'We have seen a clear meal order pattern
when patients are left to order their meals
and snacks themselves, which has assisted us
to reduce unnecessary food waste.
'A high percentage of patients are ordering
food at traditional breakfast and dinner
times, but [there is] a reduction in ordering
at morning tea, afternoon tea and supper
times,' McCray says.
The number one lesson learnt is that if
patients are left to decide for themselves
what and when they will eat (within
medically determined diet restrictions), their
satisfaction increases, their nutritional intake
increases, and waste and costs decrease.
From the patient surveys, satisfaction
with the quality and flavour of the food
has increased to 96 per cent, and overall
satisfaction for meals has increased to 90 per
From a cost point of view, plate waste
was reduced from 29 per cent in 2013 to
12 per cent in 2014, saving the hospital a
significant amount of money, which has been
reinvested into patient care.
Looking to the future, the menu will be
constantly reviewed and updated, work will
be undertaken on how best to integrate
guest and relative meals efficiently, there will
be a commitment to local and sustainable
produce, and the hospital will be looking at
how meal ordering can be integrated into the
Patient Entertainment System.
The system will also be rolled out in the
new Springfield campus of the Mater Private
Hospital, which is due to be opened at the
end of 2015.
Mater Private Hospital Brisbane is a
323-bed facility, with 10 operating
theatres and 24-hour emergency.
Mater Health Services comprises
several hospitals, health centres,
a world-class medical research
institute, and pathology and pharmacy
businesses, all with one aim: to provide
Patients have more
choice for meals with the
room service offering
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