CINCINNATI—Patients at UC Health University Hospital can now enjoy more dining options with a new room service-style menu.
The new program, which is no additional cost to patients, began in January and is part of University Hospital’s commitment to improved service excellence and patient satisfaction.
So far, says food and nutrition director John Pramuk, the feedback has been very positive.
“It’s all about our patients,” Pramuk says. “We’re serving about 1,000 meals a day. If we can make the University Hospital dining experience a good one that’s unique and memorable, we know we will have very satisfied patients.”
Pramuk says that before implementation, patients would get their meals at set times—when some were hungry and others were not. That plan resulted in a lot of food waste. With the new “on demand” option, patients can place their order when they are ready to eat.
“Trays are coming back empty,” says Pramuk, who also attributes the clean plates to the improved food selections. “We’ve got a great menu with really great options.”
The room service menu boasts more than 100 selections, with many, like omelets and sandwiches, that can be made to order. Healthful choices are plentiful on the new menu—with 60 percent of the selection listed as heart healthy. A full-service liquid-diet menu is also offered room service style.
“We're very proud to be able to offer room service to our patients,” says Lee Ann Liska, executive director and senior vice president of UC Health University Hospital. Liska was instrumental in securing the capital investment needed to purchase the hospital's room service equipment.
“We know our initial investment will pay off with improved patient satisfaction.”
Pramuk says that beyond patient satisfaction, room service has its economic benefits. The implementation of the new service led to the hiring of an additional 13 to15 associates, and many current employees were promoted or moved from part time to full time.
Room service call center associates take orders and help patients make appropriate choices based on their health needs and dietary concerns. Meals are delivered within 45 minutes of order placement.
The call center also keeps track of each patient to assure that they eat enough throughout the day, placing calls to patients if they have not ordered.
University Hospital room service operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Patients admitted after 7 p.m. are given complimentary pre-made meals.
While room service is currently only available to patients, family members can assist in ordering for their loved ones. They can order from outside the hospital by dialing (513) 584-3663.
UC Health University Hospital provides primary care and specialized inpatient and outpatient services to more than 500,000 patients per year. It is home to the area’s only adult Level I Trauma Center, accredited helicopter ambulance service, and multi-solid organ transplant center and is consistently ranked in U.S.News & World Report’s annual guide to America's Best Hospitals.