Room service. Those words conjure up images of expensive meals enjoyed in the privacy of a fancy hotel room. But now, you can experience that same special treatment, even if you’re laid up in a hospital bed.
Earlier this year, Mercy Hospital Springfield started offering room service to all patients who are able to order for themselves. “Similar to hotel room service, the meals come when patients are hungry, and the food on the plate is something they actually choose to eat,” explained Amy Partain, director of Food and Nutrition Services at Mercy Hospital Springfield. “Good nutrition is essential if people are going to feel well, so if the only thing that sounds good is fresh fruit, that’s what we’ll bring you.”
Of course, there are safeguards in place for patients who have dietary restrictions. Mercy food services co-workers can see which patient is calling for a meal and the computer system tells them what restrictions that patient has. “If your doctor wants to keep your salt intake low, we won’t bring you potato chips,” Partain explained. “But we will help you make choices based on what you can have.” Once the phone call is placed, the meal arrives at the appropriate temperature in less than 45 minutes.
“Room service means the patients get their meals in a timely manner,” said Shannon Nevins, Mercy RN. “I love the new system. It is great to be able to work as a team to meet our patients’ best interests.”
“What a marvelous improvement from what is historically and rather disdainfully described as hospital food,” said Peter Herschend, who was a recent Mercy patient. “I ordered from a very inclusive menu, with the food arriving both hot and cold as appropriate - and it was good.”
Herschend isn’t the only one giving positive feedback. “Patients are loving it,” Partain said. “We actually had one person call back to the kitchen to say it was the best omelet they ever had!”