Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Drives Down Expenses, Improves Dietary Service

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) opened its doors in 1921 when a Dallas orthopedic surgeon recognized a growing need to provide superior medical care to children regardless of a family‘s ability to pay. Supported solely through donations, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has emerged as one of the nation‘s leading medical centers for the treatment of pediatric orthopedic conditions, certain related neurological disorders, and learning disorders, such as dyslexia.

Kim Oberman, director of the hospital‘s Dietary department, has worked at TSRHC for 25 years. During that time, she has seen the installation of state-of–the-art automation, expansion of the cafeteria and remodeling of the kitchen to support room service for patients.

Oberman manages a staff of 40, including registered dietitians. On average, her area serves 1,200 meals in the cafeteria, 288 catering meals, and 63 pediatric patient meals per day.

The hospital started with CBORD® software back in 1997, installing Nutrition Service Suite® (NSS) and Foodservice Suite® (FSS). In August 2009, the hospital completed a major renovation of a 35-year-old kitchen and dining space and turned the area into a modern kitchen and cafeteria.

The cafeteria has a modern feel and is set up with a wide choice of stations, including a pizza oven, deli bar, salad bar, and grill. The remodeling included installing an Odyssey Cashless System from CBORD that allows employees to pay for meals by swiping their ID badge, which offers a payroll deduction option as a way for staff to pay for their charges.

The response to the cashless system has been extremely positive. Lines move much faster, and the process is much easier, giving staff time to enjoy their breaks. To date, 36 percent of the staff members are using badges, and about 52 percent of the transactions are cashless. Oberman was pleased to see that with MICROS, credit card transactions were almost instantaneous. Previously customers waited a few minutes for their transactions to clear.

Oberman said that the Odyssey Cashless installation was easy, the training was handled well, and the cashiers caught on quickly. “I love how simple it is to change food prices, add food items, and access detailed sales reports,” said Oberman.

At the same time that the hospital moved to a new cafeteria, it also opened a new kitchen and began to provide room service to their pediatric patients. Oberman explained that room service is a very good fit for children, as they want choices. When children order off a printed menu the day before, they often do not understand that the food they want is coming tomorrow. When the food they ordered yesterday shows up, they are ready for something else. Room service allows children to call and order what they want when they want it. The CBORD system ensures that patients only receive diet-compliant foods and that any new diet orders are online instantly.

“Our children are very happy with the ordering process,” Oberman said. “We have less food waste and lower food costs. Overall our food costs have decreased by 20 percent because the ordering process has been streamlined. We are only sending meals that are requested by the child or parent instead of sending meals only to find that the patient went out on a pass, was discharged or just did not feel like eating at that time.”

Also, dietitians are more concerned with getting the patient to eat, rather than limiting choices for a condition. Pediatric patients may need smaller, more frequent meals. With room service, you can encourage these patients to order several smaller amounts of food any time of the day they are hungry, keeping them well nourished without the hospital sending an overloaded tray for traditional service.

“CBORD is a support-focused company,” Oberman said. “We have had wonderful trainers. Issues come up every day, and every day CBORD Support is there to help us out. It is very reassuring to know that whatever happens, CBORD will work with us. I recently called on the weekend, and it was great to see that the support was just as good!”

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been helping children for almost 90 years. CBORD is proud to help improve food service at the hospital and helping to support healthy eating for the children who go there for care.