Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2019

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24 FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES AUGUST 2019 That aging population gets credit for driving some of the most signi- cant changes taking place in health- care foodservice, notes David Reeves, director of Culinary Operations at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and past president of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice. Baby Boomers, in par- ticular, are making their mark. "In the industry at large, Boomers are fast becoming the primary users of healthcare. They're well-traveled and food-savvy," Reeves says. "They come in with much higher expectations for being able to get foods that they want, when they want them. And both within the Boomer population and the broader healthcare industry, there's now a much greater appreciation for the role that food and nutrition play in speeding recovery and enhancing well- ness. Room service programs with a strong focus on freshness, quality and service can answer those needs." Here, three healthcare facilities provide a closer examination of the state of room service. In each case, the programs have shifted decisively away from traditional batch-production/ trayline models to hospitality-inspired platforms characterized by diverse, chef-developed menus; kitchen operations designed and equipped for restaurant-style cooking to order; and high-touch service. UCLA Health's Staggered Approach to Production When most patients check in to one of the two primary hospitals within the Los Angeles-based UCLA Health system, they receive a menu that com- plies with the diet ordered by their physician. From then on, the hospitals' Signature Dining program is just a phone call away, offering gourmet, hotel-style room service daily from 6:45 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Director of Nutrition Services Patti Oliver says her team's focus, both for room service and foodservice in general, is on quality, nutrition, sustainability and innovation. A 2017 IFMA Silver Plate Award winner, Oliver oversees a program that serves 525 patient rooms at Ronald Reagan UCLA Health Medical Center, which was built in 2008 to replace the original earthquake-damaged UCLA Health Medical Center. Prior to the rebuild, the facility offered traditional tray service, and it continues to do so for a 75-bed neuropsychiatric hospital within the Ronald Reagan building. Her program also serves 300-bed UCLA Health, Santa Monica, where room service was introduced approxi- mately 12 years ago, prior to a more recent full kitchen remodel. Of the more than 9,000 meals served on average per day in the 2 centers, patient meals account for roughly one third, while the balance is retail and catering. "When we rst started doing room service, not many hospitals were doing it. We were fortunate to have a brand-new building at Ronald Regan and to have our systems designed for room service," Oliver says. "But it was still very challenging. We not only had a brand-new hospital that staff had to learn and get familiar with, but at the same time, we introduced a brand-new type of meal service." To accommodate on-demand room service as well as the needs of neuropsy- chiatry patients, who require regularly scheduled meal service, UCLA's kitchens incorporate both a traditional hospital tray line, where staff portion and stage batch-cooked foods for set delivery times, and a restaurant-style line for freshly cooked meals to order. While the majority of its room service production is now cook-serve, cook-chill systems for items such as scratch-made soups and sauces are critical as well. In fact, UCLA recently added another blast chiller to help with volume needs. The biggest ongoing challenge, Oliver notes, is meeting the needs and Morrison-managed facilities can tap two room service programs: Dining on Call, for patients able to place their own orders, and Catering to You, a restaurant-style program wherein a patient dining associate facilitates order-taking and meal delivery. Photo courtesy of Morrison Healthcare HOSPITAL HOSPITALITY: Room Service Delivers

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