The Human Element: Why Adding The “Personal Touch” To Your Foodservice Department Is Essential
In our previous article we discussed the need for face-to-face interaction in hospitals and how it’s essential for the patient-staff relationship. Not only does it help patients feel less alone while in your care, but it also maintains the same level of service they are accustomed to receiving outside of a facility. And it is this influence of consumerism set by other industries that is leading to new expectations for healthcare, particularly when it comes to the patient experience.
“As consumers have more choice and healthcare decisions impact their wallets more, they will increasingly compare their healthcare experience to the expectations they have developed in other aspects of their lives. Healthcare organizations will need to live up to a new service expectation if they want to continue to win the business of their service savvy customers.”1
So now the question is, how does foodservice fit into all of this? And what can YOU do in YOUR department?
First and foremost, people love food and the foodservice department does play an integral role in their patient experience. Think about the excitement associated with having a meal delivered on any normal occasion, then consider that in the context of a hospital, where discomfort from sickness is high. Receiving food could very well be what brightens an individual’s day.
With that being said, implementing personal touches at the patient bedside is also crucial. Things like bedside ordering and wristband scanning through the use of mobile products not only show your department utilizes cutting-edge technology but does so in a way that involves the patient in the process and prioritizes their needs. In addition, having automation software that facilitates patient-staff interaction as opposed to hinders or eliminates it altogether, is also beneficial when it comes to maintaining their safety. Which is a factor that can certainly impact their experience and ultimate satisfaction during a stay. By having nutrition services staff in patient rooms, taking orders with products that reference their likes, dislikes and allergies, patients can order food that’s safely within their diet and that they’ll also enjoy eating. Talk about a win-win!
Furthermore, having someone in the room who is available to answer questions, give comfort and simply reassure patients and their loved ones during the recovery process, is an invaluable resource that all hospitals must prioritize.
1Heath, Sara. 2017. 3 Best Practices to Improve the Healthcare Patient Experience. patientengagementhit.com/news. 02 March.https://patientengagementhit.com/news/3-best-practices-to-improve-the-healthcare-patient-experience
2Maples M.D., William. 2017. Going Beyond HCAHPS to Improve Patients' Experience. hhnmag.com/articles. 31 January. https://www.hhnmag.com/articles/8011-going-beyond-hcahps-to-improve-the-patient-experience
Article by: Jennifer Higgins, Marketing Specialist; Fusion, 3rd Quarter, 2018