Room ServiceNo longer providing regimented meals or leaving food to go cold while receiving care, patients order à la carte when it suits them.
Within the walls of a hospital, there are not many choices a patient can make as their care falls into the larger tapestry of the goings on of a health system.
Following adaptation of the Mater’s pioneering Room Service model, Metro North Hospital and Health Service patients at The Prince Charles Hospital now have something delicious to look forward to and it is all up to them.
No longer providing regimented meals or leaving food to go cold while receiving care, patients order à la carte when it suits them. Eggs in the afternoon, sandwiches filled with only the ingredients you want, when it comes to food, glorious food, the power rests with the people—and their dietary requirements—at Prince Charles.
Putting this choice back into the hands of patients is having a huge difference on clinical outcomes, increasing nutritional intake and helping people recover quickly. While also seeing massive reductions in food waste.
Room Service - video transcript
vox pop 00:09
Room service in a hospital would be a fantastic idea. I think that's great. To be honest.
Nick Muller 00:24
It's here at Prince Charles hospital, we have an all day breakfast menu. You can order what you want when you want, you can have a stir fry, you can have a pizza, you can order what you want at your leisure.
Room Service. This is Cheryl, could I have your surname and date of birth? Please?
Could I have? What is the roast of today,
we have roast pork today.
Bianca Neaves 00:51
Hi, my name is Bianca. And I'm the dietitian for food services. I helped oversee the menus, and I helped to ensure that the food that we provide is nourishing and meets nutritional standards. So we have a program that we code all of the items that we have available on the menu as to whether it contains any of the food allergens, and we restrict those items from going to the patients to ensure that our meals are safe, and won't cause any harm.
vox pop 01:23
Why would you want Room Service in a hospital? Well, you see, we all have different eating habits, I have a brekkie, I have sultana bran or something, I only have a drink. It could be a sazzie could be an orange drink at lunchtime, especially when I was pregnant with my kids. And that I just remember they're trying to encourage you to get up and get moving in that but there's just sometimes it's just so nice to see someone else's face, you don't get visitors in that they come in, they would give you a cup of tea and like say hello. And I just think it's not it's it's more personal. And that it's it's lovely.
Bianca Neaves 01:56
The hospitals can be frightening places for patients, it's usually when they are the most sick that they will ever be. And we care for them in so many ways medically and clinically. But But food is a really important part to a patient for providing them with some control and some power when so much of their world can feel out of control and they can feel quite helpless. So we hear from many patients who say how empowering it is to them to be able to make just very little decisions within their day. You know, it's as little as a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch. And with room service, we're able to provide that for them. We believe that food is everything to nourishing and helping a patient to recover from any illness or surgery. You know, it's what we do at home when we have sick family and friends. We nourish them by providing them with lovely home cooked meals. And that's what we try to replicate in our hospital by making food fresh and on demand. And that meets the needs and what they're asking for.
room service delivery 03:00
Knock Knock, Room Service can I come in
vox pop 03:05
Yeah, I have the evening meal and that is my main meal for the day and I am somebody that doesn't go tobed till midnight. So I eat around seven time for meals to go down and then get a good night's sleep. We're all different.
Nick Muller 03:25
For me, I get the satisfaction from everybody from obviously the other site to come and see us. We've had international visitors come and visit the kitchen specifically to see this. I've also we've also had interstate visitors, lots of hospitals within the area, private, public, and they're just overwhelmed by it all. The first question is, how did you do it? The model that we have here at Prince Charles hospital is very unique in regards to we have two two kitchens. One is named Triton, the other is Hercules Triton starts at 630 in the morning goes to seven o'clock at night. And Hercules comes on board when it's real busy for breakfast, lunch and dinner just to take the heat off those bulk dockets that come through to the kitchen. The actual model we need more staff, but then it comes back to how much waste we now save the when patients order they order what they want when they want so we're not serving them a meal for the sake of serving a meal. So if you only want a light breakfast, you'll get a light breakfast so we only prepare the amount of food that we're going to need for that service. So we don't have that big bulk food disposal at the end of each service. It's just ad hoc. We cook what you want when you want so it's a lot of it's cooked order. In regards to wastage we used to order 16 boxes of cloths a week now we're down to about eight a week. In regards to the general waste that comes off the trays we used to have too big 600 liter dump x bins now we only have the one over three hour period. And there's so many things that even like the grease trap, that grease trap only gets emptied a couple of times a year instead of every six weeks. So there's little things like that that have made a big difference financially for the department and also showing that room service. There are lots of benefits behind the scenes and the staff getting that feedback, personal feedback from the patients up on the wards is invaluable. My staff turned up with the food and they've always put a big smile on their face. And my staff is in the kitchen as well. ergonomically, it's a big, big change for them because they don't before it was very high paced, very hot in the kitchen and now it's just very relaxed and it's just so motivating to see them motivated because of the new system that we put in place. It's like a small, fast paced restaurant.
Bianca Neaves 05:37
Best part of the job.
Listen to our podcast on the benefits of a room service model which is putting the choice back into the hands of patient.
Visit the Room Service page on the improvement exchange to learn more about setting up the service.
Mater Hospital Room Service
Listen to Sally McCray presentation on Do you want to provide food, or do you want your patients to eat?
Metro North HHS
Visit the Metro North HHS website to learn more about the achievements of the Room Service