The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has published the first-ever comprehensive peer-reviewed study confirming the room service model of patient food service improves nutritional intake. This research, conducted at the Mater Hospitals in Brisbane, Australia, also confirms room service boosts patient satisfaction scores while reducing plate waste and meal costs.

The study shows when hospitals deploy room service:

Patient Meal Intake increased 17%

Patient Energy Intake increased from 1306 to 1588 kilocalories per day,
meeting 75% of daily energy requirements

Patient Protein Intake increased from 52 to 66 grams per day,
meeting 85% of daily protein requirements

Total plate waste decreased 17%

Patient meal costs decreased 15%

Press Ganey scores increased overall satisfaction from the 68th to the 86th percentile

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane piloted patient room service in 2013, employing CBORD's Nutrition Service Suite® with Room Service Choice®. Expanding the service to their public acute care adult hospital, Mater Hospital Brisbane, provided a unique opportunity for a comparative study.

View the results as an infographic. The full study can be found here (PDF).

Room Service Improves Nutritional Intake and Increases Patient Satisfaction While Decreasing Food Waste and Cost
Sally McCray, APD; Kirsty Maunder, AdvAPD, CHIA; Renee Krikowa, APD; Kristen MacKenzie-Shalders, PhD, APD
Copyright 2017 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Addressing Malnutrition in Hospitals

Clinical dietitians have been struggling to address hospital malnutrition, and poor food intake has been recognized as a key risk factor resulting in greater mortality and morbidity, increased lengths of stay, and increased costs. Maximizing patients’ nutritional intake therefore is a primary goal. Giving patients some choice in meal ordering, especially choice regarding the time of day a meal is delivered—which is the chief benefit of the room service model—is an effective way to increase the amount of food patients consume.

While room service has long been recommended as a way to improve patient satisfaction and food waste, no previous study had been able to demonstrate the impact of room service on patients’ nutritional intake, until now. “Comparison of nutritional intake between a traditional foodservice model and room service showed statistically significant increases with room service in both energy and protein intake,” the article states.

The Impact of Technology

Mater Hospitals knew a technology solution was necessary to achieve their goals of increasing nutritional intake and patient satisfaction, while reducing plate waste and meal costs. After an exhaustive competitive process, they chose CBORD as the preferred vendor based on the decades of experience gained from designing the industry’s most capable and robust platform to support the complex room service process.

“The CBORD software solution (or combination of solutions) will assist hospitals to meet nutritional and regulatory standards, which now is almost impossible without technology,” said study co-author Kirsty Maunder. “Good technology creates an opportunity to innovate in hospital foodservice, tailoring meal ordering and delivery solutions based on patient types and hospital goals, to not only enhance efficiency and reduce costs, but deliver a patient-centric approach to improve patient outcomes.”

Managing multiple complex diet orders is a challenge most hospitals cannot successfully meet without a system to integrate their nutritional and food production processes with information from the patient’s health record.

Room Service Choice is a web-based mobile meal ordering application accessible from any browser. This allows hospitals to offer staff-assisted entry of patient meal selections at the bedside or in a call center for on-demand room service delivery. Once the patient has eaten, staff observe and record their intake using the Mobile Intake® application. This model of providing patients with a choice in meal ordering, then following up with intake recording, has been shown to improve patient outcomes.

Presenting the Research

The leading authors of the study, Sally McCray, APD, and Director of Nutrition and Dietetics at Mater, and Kirsty Maunder, AdvAPD, CHIA, were in attendance at CBORD’s 2017 User Group Conference in Phoenix, AZ. They presented their research to large audiences of healthcare attendees in educational sessions designed to advance patient care through nutrition.

CBORD solutions reduce risk and cost in hospital nutrition service, and now we know Room Service Choice is proven to benefit patient health and wellness, which increases satisfaction for all.

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