Hospital Experience: How Foodservice Impacts Overall Satisfaction

Food is not just a source of nourishment but also a means of comfort. We all look forward to it, and in healthcare foodservice specifically, we know without a doubt that food impacts the hospital experience. Whether at home or away, we all enjoy having the freedom to choose what to eat and when to eat it. Allowing patients to have that same convenience during a hospital stay is important and can influence their overall outcome.

Knowing that food is a significant aspect of the hospital experience, discerning hospital administrators ensure their operations are prepared to deliver quality foodservice because that will directly tie into achieving operational excellence, which is often benchmarked through performance surveys like Press Ganey. For that reason, health systems and individual sites are investing in technology that not only streamlines food-related processes and creates operational efficiency, but serves as an instrument for increasing satisfaction across their entire operation – for both patients and caregivers.

Considering the prominence of smartphones in everyday functions, healthcare foodservice operators are integrating the “BYOD” (bring your own device) concept into their dining programs to contribute to a positive hospital experience. As an additional meal ordering option to traditional staff-assisted models such as room service and bedside spoken, patient self-ordering educates and empowers the patient throughout their recovery process by placing the control of ordering meals in their hands.

With Computrition’s patient self-ordering solution, HS onTray, ease of use is a top priority. There are two ways to manage patient entry, either via personalized link and authentication or by passing patients directly to HS onTray from a link on their EHR patient portal. Once patients confirm their identity, they can safely access menus compatible with their approved diet orders without the hassle of downloading an app or creating an account. Thanks to menu item category limits in place, staff can rest assured that patients won’t over-order. Valuable nutrition content, food restrictions, allergy facts, and meal descriptions are all visible to the patient, enabling them to make an informed decision.

Considering labor challenges impacting many industries, including healthcare, there is tremendous pressure on caregivers to deliver the same level of pre-pandemic service with a smaller, post-pandemic workforce. Leveraging a contactless meal ordering option like HS onTray can alleviate potential stress for patients and foodservice operators, especially during busy mealtimes. Patients don’t have to wait for staff to take orders at the bedside or wait on hold with the room service call center. Instead, they can have meaningful conversations with staff regarding their recovery and the vital role food plays in it.

Additionally, with a dedicated focus on quality user experience, HS onTray is intentionally designed to enable all users to interact with the technology without any hindrances or limitations. Pulling from industry-standards found in all meal ordering solutions, HS onTray meets WCAG 2.1 accessibility requirements and is compatible with any patient's screen reader or other assistive solution when navigating menus and meal options on their personal device's web browser.​ As a result of having a user-friendly interface, patient learning is enhanced without the need for additional help from staff.

Essentially, offering patients online ordering allows food and nutrition services to continue meal production even when orders aren’t being taken by staff. Consequently, patients gain the simple joy of exploring menus and selecting meals according to their cravings, which can evoke more comfort and satisfaction. The lasting effects of a satisfied patient with a pleasant hospital experience are priceless, and favorable word-of-mouth about the quality of care provided is the best commendation your organization can receive.  

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