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.