Operations

Sodexo increases patient satisfaction with hospitality boxes

The boxes are also aimed to help the company’s hospital accounts improve sales.
Sodexo's maternity hospitality box
Photograph: Sodexo

Around two and a half years ago, the Sodexo team began brainstorming how to improve patient satisfaction and sales at its hospital accounts throughout the country. 

“We started thinking about two assets: how do you build sales, and how do you position a client to be able to make an amenity offer to the patients and their guests that can get some greater patient satisfaction and improve that guest experience,” says Jennifer Akerly, vice president of operation support for Sodexo Healthcare North America. 

In addition, she says, they were looking for a solution that could be standardized and available 24/7.

Making it personal 

The team ended up creating a hospitality box that is served in place of a food tray for those who arrive at the ER and are admitted to the hospital. Since the start of COVID-19, Sodexo began to expand its hospitality boxes to include other scenarios, such as when a patient has just given birth or has been discharged from the hospital. 

Options currently include a sympathy box, a maternity box, a box for siblings when a new baby is born, a discharge box, a celebration box and a recovery box.  

Hospitals that offer the boxes can decide whether guests or staff must purchase them for patients or they are included when a patient is admitted. Boxes are assembled by Sodexo’s partners across the country and shipped to each account, where they can be personalized with the hospital logo or gift messages, as well as regional-specific items, Akerly says.

Taking it online

The boxes have been met with great response from patients and hospital staff during beta testing, she says. And while some accounts are hesitant about the boxes at first, they often get on board once they see that they are cost effective. 

“Initially, someone will say, ‘Well, those are a little bit expensive,’ but when you factor in the trays, the time and all of that, they actually almost become cost neutral [with] what each account is doing today,” Akerly says. 

Looking ahead, the team also plans to launch an ecommerce site to allow family members or friends to send boxes to loved ones in the hospital.

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