On-time Tray Delivery Hits 95% in Peoria

At OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, staff have taken on responsibility for meeting their tray deliver-time goal. Said Greg Wolf, Food Production Manager, "Just by posting the average delivery time every day, our staff has improved the process and moved from 88 percent on-time tray delivery to 95 percent." Tray Monitor® is displayed on a large kitchen monitor. The visual nature of the display supports a "Lean" management style, making it easy for all staff to see how long trays have been in the kitchen or on the carts. By setting standards and giving staff the ability to see the tray status, staff have improved their performance resulting in more warm meals being delivered to the patients.

Wolf has set up two tray check points: one when the kitchen finishes preparing the meal, and one when the tray is loaded on the cart and leaves the kitchen. He has three statistics he reports out to his staff every day.

  1. Number and % on-time trays prepared in the kitchen
  2. Number and % on-time trays moved from the kitchen to carts and off to the rooms
  3. Total number and % total on-time trays

"Even with only two check points we have improved service dramatically and I feel it was well worth investing in this system." Wolf went on to say, "We plan to expand adding mobile handheld devices to track tray delivery at the bedside and close the loop, providing transparency and insight into the entire process."

Wolf has plans to incorporate the statistics into employee reviews and to set clear goals to measure performance. He now operates two kitchens, and by posting scores each day he has created a healthy competition between the two sites. Staff from each site wants to outdo the other. They check every day to see how their team performed. In addition, Wolf can look at any point in time and see if he needs to move staff between the two kitchens. If volume increases in one and trays are slowing down, he now knows immediately and can transfer staff to help out. He can check on this from any web browser, making it easy to look from home.

Wolf has also used the information to adjust staffing levels and schedule staff to come in the times they are most needed. By looking at Tray Monitor reports, he can now see exactly when he needs staff in the kitchen or in the tray delivery process. The call center also has improved their service since they can now answer questions about where the tray is and when to expect delivery.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center offers room service from 6:30 am to 7:00 pm and guarantees delivery in 45 minutes. Wolf has been working in food service for 30 years and continues to find new ways to motivate his staff and improve service. With approximately 1,200 trays delivered each day, Wolf's team is delivering 1,140 on time, and he is working hard to develop new strategies that will allow his team to reach 100%.