Chefs changing dining perspective in hospitals

Room service, upscale menus help hospitals improve patient satisfaction.

July 15 — Heidi Wohlbier smiled as she sampled lunch in her room on the third floor of Denver Health Medical Center. She had been treated for heart palpitations the day before, but by noon Monday, she was eating pepperoni pizza, salad and a chocolate chip cookie she said were good enough to be served in a restaurant. Denver Health — like many hospitals across Colorado — has upgraded the staff, visitor and patient food from something patrons have to eat into something they want.

The change is an effort to stay competitive with other hospitals and improve customer satisfaction scores.

Customers' happiness with their food does not directly play into the patient satisfaction ratings that now partly impact Medicare's reimbursement.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

Ideas and Innovation
making meals

This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

Industry News & Opinion
sharing love

Having never personally experienced a hurricane, I can only imagine the horrors faced by the millions of people whose lives were affected by Harvey and Irma in late August and early September. It’s a group that comprises uncounted noncommercial operations, including Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students.

But from that tragedy has come one of the most impressive feats of foodservice I’ve seen since coming on board at this magazine, partially spearheaded by Nutrition Officer Betti Wiggins , who only just joined the district. For the entire school year,...

FSD Resources