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Amelia Islander

Serving Satisfaction

Sep 08, 2015 10:05AM
When Baptist Medical Center Nassau President Stephen Lee visited another hospital several years ago, he discovered a unique food service program where patients can order food from a menu and have it delivered to their room. He loved the idea, and he soon began work on a plan to bring this same service to the patients at Baptist Nassau. It has taken three years to implement the program, but this summer, with the help of Food Service Director Mathew Clayton, Baptist Nassau now offers “At Your Request” room service dining for their patients. This innovative dining program allows patients to select meals from a wide variety of foods, which is designed to enhance the hospital experience as though they were dining at their favorite restaurant. Orders can be placed by phone between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and the meals are delivered within 45 minutes or less. Guest trays are also available for visiting guests and family members. “We’ve had a great response to this program,” says Lee. “We have trained operators who take the orders, and they can help patients with their selections, including their dietary restrictions. Right now, twenty-nine minutes is our average delivery time. And patients can order anything on the menu during the time period of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.” Matthew Clayton remembers a patient who ordered pot roast and mashed potatoes for breakfast one morning. “That’s what looked good to him, and that’s what he wanted to eat,” says Clayton. “We are happy to make the patients anything they want at any time during the day. Food is the one thing that a patient has control of in the hospital, it’s the one area where they have a choice. We serve restaurant-quality meals that are well-prepared. Most of our patients have never ordered room service before. It makes them feel special.” Some of the menu selections include omelets, fresh fruits, and muffins for breakfast, entrée salads, grilled chicken breast, meatloaf, and Asian stir-fry for lunch or dinner, along with a wide variety of vegetables, soups, pizza, desserts, and beverages. In addition, the menu has a section of items that can be consumed on a liquid diet, like broths, pudding, and ice cream. A guideline on healthy eating emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk products, along with suggestions for help in managing diabetes and a how-to guide to finding foods that are low in saturated fats, trans-fats, and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease. In the future, Lee hopes that the “At Your Request” menu will also be available for staff members and patients who have come to the hospital for a procedure, but are not staying overnight. At present, the hospital’s cafeteria offers a good variety of foods for staff and visitors, but it is open for limited hours. The “At Your Request” program could eventually service everyone who works at or visits Baptist Nassau. “Being in the hospital is something that is scary to most patients,” says Lee. “Our goal is to make their hospital stay as pleasant as possible. With our new ‘At Your Request’ menu, what’s not to like?”