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Australia’s first hotel-style hospital room service has rolled out at Mater’s South Brisbane campus delivering more than 2000 meals a day to all patients and reducing plate waste by 17 per cent.
Malnutrition is a well-documented issue in hospitals, with many patients not able to eat enough food to assist their recovery.
The room service model was initially rolled out at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane in 2013 and allows for better management of special patient diets, more flexibility in meal times, improved quality and range of meals and a reduction in foot wastage.
Director of Nutrition and Dietetics Sally McCray said that plate wastage has been reduced by 17 per cent.
“Mater has seen significant increases in patient satisfaction scores. Patients are actually eating their food because they like it, which increases their nutritional intake,” Ms McCray said.
“By offering patients a high quality, nutritious menu at a time that suits them, patients are more likely to eat and therefore meet their nutritional requirements. We have seen on average a 20-25 per cent increase in both calorie and protein intake in at risk patients following the implementation of room service,” she said.
The service model now delivers more than 2000 meals per day to suit the individual clinical and dietary requirements of patients. The central call centre takes orders from a personalised a la carte style menu between 6.30 am and 7 pm.
The main driver behind the project was to create something better for Mater patients. The reduction of waste has also resulted in a decrease in total patient food costs.
Food Services Manager Liam O’Toole explains that the Room Service initiative is underpinned with an onsite Call Centre that uses sophisticated computer software that monitors meals for every patient.
“We ensure the patient only receives options that are compatible with their current medical/surgical condition and also alerts staff of missed meals and monitors the patient’s intake and nutrition,” Mr O’Toole said.
“Patients can choose from a wide range of options such as customised omelettes, Caesar salad with smoked salmon, a healthy burger from the grill, pizza, and home baked savoury meatloaf, pan seared sirloin steak with red wine jus and macaroni cheese.
“We are very proud to have been recognised for our innovation, receiving the Private Hospitals Association of Queensland Award for Non-Clinical Innovation as well as their Overall Award for Innovation in 2014 and the CBORD International Visionary Award for room service in 2015. It’s exciting to now be able to offer this high quality service to all of our facilities at South Brisbane,” Mr O’Toole said.
Mater comprises several hospitals, health centres, a world-class medical research institute, and pathology and pharmacy—all with one aim—to provide Exceptional Care.
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