Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2018

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24 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2018 operate in an environment where healthcare dollars are being stretched." Trinity Health adopted a shared services model in 2016 that provides system standards around all the differ- ent components. Cranmer says Trinity continues to develop regions and integrate its 94 hospitals to the shared services model to improve and manage the business. "Key focuses and goals include standardization of foodservice technology as well as clini- cal nutrition practice and management and strategic oversight and expertise in managing foodservice operations man- agement and procurement," he says. COSTS AND REVENUE Of course, foodservice is not alone in these endeavors. "All disciplines are being asked to cut costs and come together to reduce waste and become more integrated in the healthcare delivery system — not just food and nutrition services," says Cranmer. With an eye toward controlling costs, Poggas says Centura Health has talked about building a central kitchen for its hospitals in the metropolitan Denver area. To date, however, she continues to focus on balancing the costs of labor and food. The Centura foodservice team relies on pre- diced produce, and prepared desserts and other ready-made items to offset the lack of staff for some positions. Revenue-generating operations remain under consistent scrutiny to "make sure they are actually generating revenue," says Poggas. "If my sales in the cafe don't warrant staying open until 9 p.m., I may need to close earlier." St. Charles health system is shifting its practices to ensure food prices cover costs at its cafes, Pastor adds. "This is where foregone revenue completes the picture of our finan- cial performance." Pastor credits the ability to compare his operations' performance with other healthcare foodservice operators via the Association for Healthcare Foodservice's benchmark- ing study with helping to track foregone revenue. "This is important to factor into our numbers to see how we're performing," he says. The foodservice departments at Prineville and Madras hospitals do not receive financial credit for room service meals, Pastor says, who explains those dollars instead roll into the room charge. "That's OK as long as the financial department understands what's happening," he says. Pastor works to tie in other benefits foodservice brings to the hospital. For example, malnourished or food insecure patients tend to fall more, which leads to longer hospital stays and higher readmission rates. In con- trast, he says, "When we have food people want to eat, they don't have as many problems. One hospital in the Southwest is giving people food free for 30 days." The reality is that many healthcare systems do not con- sider foodservice a revenue-generating department, Fonville notes. "We don't break even when we consider patient and retail services unless we have a completely separate retail op- eration," she says, adding that overall, foodservice represents a very small piece of the hospital's expense and revenue. When looking to cut costs, Fonville considers standardiz- ing products, negotiating additional pricing incentives due to standardization, revising menus to reduce waste, and cross- training staff to do multiple jobs within the department. MENU, EQUIPMENT CHANGES In order to contain costs and work with available labor at Parker Adventist Hospital and Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, Poggas will look to both simplify and limit the number of offerings. "We won't be able to offer quite as much variety, but we're still committed to locally sourced produce and proteins," she says. Modifying equipment packages to include pieces that require less labor is another solution, along with considering renovations to different cafe areas in an effort to reduce labor needs, says Poggas. "We'll have to rely on more high-speed ovens so we can serve customers more quickly and efficiently. If we can't fill positions, we'll have to bring in more heat- and-serve products and put on finishing touches to our liking rather than prepare most of our food in house." Keeping up with local restaurant trends is also important, says Poggas, specifically for Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, which has many competitive restaurants nearby. She feels THE STATE OF HEALTHCARE FOODSERVICE HOLY CROSS HOSPITAL Above and right: George Cranmer in the test kitchen at Trinity Health's Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and at a team building event at the facility that ended with a chef 's coat signing session.

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