Sutter Health

Implements Restaurant-Style Menus and Saves $150,00 in Food Costs
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Sutter Health

A CBORD customer for more than a decade, Sutter Health is an award-winning, not-for-profit health system headquartered in Sacramento, California. The system serves more than 100 communities in Northern California with 24 hospitals, 36 surgery centers, 67,000 employees, and over 5,500 physicians in its network. Sutter Health is committed to providing a consistent level of exceptional, personalized care to patients.

Jack Breezee, Valley Area regional director of food and nutrition services for Sutter Health, oversees dining operations for 10 hospitals that prepare approximately 11,500 meals per day. He uses several CBORD solutions to manage this large, complex operation. “Initially, we deployed point-of-sale across our, then, five hospitals. Then, we started the process of deploying Foodservice Suite and Nutrition Service Suite,” commented Jack. Over the years, the number of hospitals under Breezee’s watch has continued to increase and now stands at 10.

As his region grew, so did the complexity. To streamline operations and improve efficiency, Breezee focused on centralizing and standardizing the menus and ingredients across all 10 facilities. “I wanted to get everyone to buy the same products with a standardized grocery formulary, so every kitchen has the exact same ingredients,” noted Breezee. “We use CBORD’s systems to plan out the ingredients and menus centrally, and it’s all in one database using one common menu.”

Challenge

Breezee and his team measure many aspects of the operation daily, and food waste began to stand out as an issue to be addressed. “For years, we’ve managed ourp patient feeding using non-select menus. Unfortunately, with non-select menus you’re sending patients food that they don’t necessarily want,” said Breezee. “We realized we had an opportunity for significant cost savings by modifying our menu and giving patients the opportunity to select the food they want.”

Solution

Switching from non-select menus to restaurant-style menus is no easy task, especially in an operation of this size. “In a great spirit of collaboration using our
lean management tools, we assembled a team of dietitians and managers from across our 10 hospitals and wrote a selective menu,” Breezee stated. “We decided to use the Menu Select option of the CBORD room service program to implement our new menu here at Sutter Health.”

The team spent more than six months writing and coding the new menu, as well as working with a variety of people from CBORD to design the screens so they were intuitive for the hosts taking patient orders at bedside. “Hosts can easily take the patient’s order by only seeing the foods that are appropriate for the patient’s diet.”.

Results

Breezee knew he needed CBORD’s Menu Select program to make the new menu approach work. “I told the regional CFO that I would be able to pay it back in a year,” Breezee said. “We were actually able to save that amount of money in less than a year. After implementing our new menu and CBORD’s Menu Select module, we saved $150,000 in food costs within nine months. When patients can order what they want rather than receive a standard tray, there’s less wasted food and the patients are getting exactly what they want to eat.”

The cost savings started adding up quickly when they were no longer sending a milk on every tray, three times per day, or bacon when the patient didn’t want bacon.

Breezee works closely with Systems Technician Rosie Niz to track and measure their operation. “Rosie has learned the system, learned how the data is stored in that gigantic database,” Breezee commented. “She’s very proficient at harvesting that data, pulling it out so we can use it for decision making. The CBORD data allows us to look at each facility, and across all 10 facilities, to see how they’re performing.”

They measure and analyze many aspects of their operation on a daily and weekly basis. “We look at the average cost for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner tray
across each of the 10 facilities,” Niz noted.
..

Ready to read more? Click here to view the entire case study and learn how Sutter Health reduced food costs by $150,000 in nine months.

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Sutter Health Case Study

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