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  • ‘Room Service’ Comes to Avera St. Luke’s

Published on April 25, 2012

‘Room Service’ Comes to Avera St. Luke’s Hospital

ABERDEEN (April 29, 2012) – Avera St. Luke’s Hospital patients are now ordering “Room Service,” featuring restaurant-quality meals served to patients on demand throughout the day by specially trained hosts and hostesses.

“Patients are presented with a new restaurant-style menu, and encouraged to order what they want, when they want it,” said Pat Kappes, director of the hospital’s Nutrition and Food Services. Avera St. Luke’s kitchen underwent a major renovation to prepare for the new program, which began April 29, 2012. Rather than traditional, timed tray lines followed by ‘closed’ periods, the kitchen is now open continuously from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Box lunches are available for patients who require food after regular meal service hours.

“Room Service is based on the hotel concept, with a key addition: Our new Call Center not only assists patients with selections, but also validates diet appropriateness, and identifies opportunities for nutritional education,” Kappes said. For example, the menu has a purple heart beside certain items to denote a heart healthy food and lists the number of carbohydrate servings.

This new meal delivery model is part of the hospital’s commitment to service excellence. Results include fresher food, greater consumption, maximized patient empowerment and ultimately, a dramatic increase in satisfaction. About a third of the country’s hospitals have adopted Room Service, and nearly all enjoy top-tier satisfaction results.

The hospital worked with consulting firm DM&A (formerly Don Miller and Associates) to assist with the transition. “Our experience tells us that Room Service is not a fad, but a fixture in hospital service,” said Steve McKenna, DM&A’s project manager for Avera St. Luke’s. “When properly implemented, it outpaces all other delivery models in outcomes: enhancing customer satisfaction; maximizing patient dignity and autonomy; and offering nutrition education.”

Avera St. Luke’s Hospital cafeteria continues to be open from 7 to 10 a.m. for full breakfast, 10 to 11 a.m. for continental breakfast, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch, and 5 to 6:30 p.m. for dinner. Room Service also offers guest trays, for a fee.