Eating Well Without Moving an InchAdd to My Luxx Living
Calling Room Service…
The Luxx Concierge is on the road exploring room service.
Our first stop’s menu features an extensive selection from breakfast to the deli bar and grill favorites, as well as an Asian Stir-Fry array and a pizza/pasta bar. Scores of items designate heart-healthy ingredients, as well as choices that are gluten-free.
In fact, in an unusual twist to room service, the menu dedicates an entire page to healthy eating guidelines including these categories: Make Your Calories Count, Focus on Variety, Know Your Fats, and even For Diabetic Management.
The Omelet Shop encourages you to customize among three cheeses, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, green pepper, bacon, ham and turkey sausage.
The all-day deli bar offers five breads and wraps, four cheeses, and up to eight selections from turkey to egg salad. Its “From the Garden” selections include garden, chef, chicken Caesar and a cottage cheese plate.
“American Comforts” feature macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, pot roast, roast turkey, lemon herb chicken, and salmon.
The “Asian Stir-Fry” gives you the option of shrimp, chicken and vegetables over white or brown rice.
The six-page “At Your Request Room Service Dining” menu’s cover has a real commitment to concierge service, stating “We’re taking good care of you.”
Where can you find this room service?
The answer may surprise you. It’s Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis and Falmouth Hospital.
A Concierge Approach
“These days, people have a choice of healthcare providers and the hospitals they go to,” says Scott Taylor, food service director at Cape Cod Healthcare.
“In the past, food service was a necessary part of the hospital experience, but the choices offered patients were basic and limited, and the time they were served was static. If it was Monday, it would be scrambled eggs, Tuesday, pancakes, Wednesday, a breakfast sandwich.
“If you were on the third floor, for example, lunch would arrive at 11:45. If you weren’t hungry, or you were asleep, it would not matter,” he explains.
“Cape Cod Healthcare sees itself now as a concierge. Over time, hospitals like us realized that for a patient, there are few things they have full control of. But, they can control meal service. We are dedicated to creating a room-service environment equal to any hotel. It’s about hospitality,” Taylor says.
This room service approach is proving very popular with patients and increasing their satisfaction levels for everything from admissions through discharge. Surveys Cape Cod Healthcare conducts have registered a 20-percentage-point increase in satisfaction that is significantly attributable to the choice of foods and the times patients can eat.
Not only are the selections as expansive and diverse as a hotel’s menu, but patients also can select when they want to eat, including when they have visitors – who can order as well.
With this new restaurant-style approach, all food is prepared to order and then served within 45 minutes.
Isn’t this more expensive?
Taylor explains that it actually saves Cape Cod Healthcare money. “We cut down on waste because we no longer are overproducing meals that often went uneaten because they were served at inopportune times or simply did not appeal to the patient,” Taylor says.
“Many things change over the course of the day that also can affect meals,” he notes. “For example, a physician may put a patient on an NPO diet (no oral-food) due to a procedure. Previously, if we did not know that, we would automatically prepare food that would be wasted. Now, no food is prepared for a patient without a specific order at a specific time. .
“When they can also eat with family or friends, it becomes a social experience that enhances morale and control during an otherwise taxing time,” he notes.
“When patients have the flexibility to choose what and when to eat, there is an increased likelihood that they will take in nutritious food, and this improves the healing process,” says Courtney Driscoll, the clinical nutrition manager at Cape Cod Healthcare. “Even if they choose a less than balanced meal, it improves morale. Nobody wants to be in the hospital, but when they have control over what they eat, it truly makes them feel better.”
Taylor and Driscoll lead a food service that not only prepares meals an average of 600 meals a day for patients, but also 2,000 additional meals for staff.
They are joined by Executive Chef Peter Martin, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Dennis Cronin, Operations Manager and about 70 other employees who open the kitchens at 5:30 a.m. and close at 8:30 p.m., 365 days a year.
Good tasting food also can be healthy
Driscoll and her staff work hard to be sure good-tasting food and an attractive menu also are healthy.
Heart-healthy icons accompany the vast majority of selections. An easy-to-interpret key guides patients and their doctors including foods that are fat-free, low-fat, low in sodium, gluten-free or sugar free. When necessary, a modified diet will be prescribed that will modify or substitute certain choices, explains Driscoll.
When a patient is admitted, he or she receives the very attractive six-page menu and receive an explanation how to enjoy room service attention.
Once they are in their room, patients phone a special call center and speak with staff trained in basic nutrition. It’s just like ordering room service at a hotel. The call center staff work from a computer touch screen virtually identical to those used by wait staff at restaurants. They input the selections and send them directly to the hospital’s kitchen, where the orders are continuously printed out at specific cooking stations – from the deli bar to the grill.
Prepared meals are rapidly transferred to tray carts manned by a team that transports it continuously to patient rooms within the 45-minute guarantee.
If a particular choice is not allowed due to a specific diet, the staff will work with the patient to customize a meal as aesthetically as possible.
“Patients can order meals ahead of time for the entire day, if they wish,” explains Taylor. “Or they can call spontaneously if they want a salad or a chocolate chip cookie.”
If they don’t call, the food service keeps track and will reach a nurse on the floor to intervene.
Taylor, Driscoll, Martin and Cronin lead a food service that not only prepares meals an average of 600 meals a day for patients, but also 2,000 additional meals for staff.
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