Hospital Dining Technology:
Variety is the Spice of Life

Hospital Dining Technology: Variety is the Spice of Life

Nutrition is a vital aspect of recovery, particularly when someone is prescribed a therapeutic diet (e.g., renal, diabetic, etc.) during their stay. Consequently, meal ordering via hospital dining technology is a crucial aspect to consider. Every hospital is different, and each patient is unique, entailing various individual preferences. Since it is impossible to satisfy all needs with a single solution, hospitals can incorporate a medley of meal ordering options to suit diverse populations.

The Patient’s Perspective

Ultimately, every hospital has the same goal: to provide the best care possible. When patients feel secure, they can focus on healing. One of the comforts associated with home is food – specifically, access to what and when they want to eat.

There are many scenarios when someone is admitted to a hospital: emergencies, childbirth, elective surgeries, etc. Whatever the case, staying nourished is a common necessity. However, people may prefer different methods for choosing their meals. That’s where hospital dining technology comes into the picture.

Hospital dining technology: BYOD and in-room TV/tablet
Patients who crave convenience

With the advent of smartphones, online food delivery is simply a few taps away. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) ordering is an excellent option for many patients because it gives them a sense of home. With that in mind, self-ordering software should always prioritize the user interface to facilitate and elevate the patient experience.

Additionally, a hospital can offer in-room TV/tablet ordering to leverage devices managed on-site. Facilities can also team up with third parties who specialize in enticing menu displays.

Hospital dining technology: bedside and room service
Patients who prefer more of a human element

Other patients may not have the ability to place orders themselves, or they may be more comfortable with assistance. Caregivers can take patients’ meal orders directly at their bedside with tablets, presenting an exceptional opportunity for one-on-one interaction and education.

Like a hotel, hospital room service permits patients to call in their meal orders. This on-demand method is perfect for patients who desire both flexibility and guidance. For enterprise health systems, call centers can help consolidate and centralize order management for multiple sites. If employees can work remotely, this also expands labor potential.

The Staff’s Side

Caregivers have enough worries; the meal ordering process should not be one of them. Moreover, with turnover and labor shortages, hospital dining technology is necessary to supplement staff efforts.

Consider software that automates certain processes. For example, it should integrate with the patient’s electronic health record (EHR) to assess likes, dislikes, allergies, and restrictions. Automation not only frees up staff time but also minimizes manual errors, leading to risk reduction. Integration can also enable menu translation based on a patient’s preferred language, resulting in enhanced understanding and reassurance.

Hospital dining technology: online retail ordering

On another note: who cares for the caregivers? Healthcare workers run on a tight schedule, which means limited break time. They may only have half an hour to visit the cafeteria, grab a quick bite, and eat before resuming their duties. Online retail ordering can help them skip the queue so that they’ll feel more refreshed and provide higher-quality care.

Partner Considerations

When seeking hospital dining technology vendors, ensure they value satisfaction as highly as you do. The right partner will strive to assess and meet your needs with innovative solutions throughout your collaboration.