Room service has become the gold standard for many hospitals, and heated serving carts, in particular, has made a big impact on its success. Ensure your serving carts are working at their top performance with these check points.
For more and more hospitals, foodservice has become an essential part of improving the patient's overall experience. As a result, hospitals are increasingly investing in modernizing their foodservice systems. The change reflects the broader effort by hospitals to cut costs and inefficiencies while improving patient satisfaction and quality of care. Technology is also helping health systems standardize meal options across their networks, support on-demand room service and deploy analytics to reduce food waste.
Room service has become the gold standard for many hospitals. This works similarly to a hotel program with patients placing their orders from a menu and having food delivered to their bed in less than an hour. The benefits are numerous, including improved patient satisfaction rates due to increased food choices, better quality and ease of ordering. This system also helps reduce costs, control waste and improve efficiencies with meal ordering and delivery.
Today’s equipment technology has made a big impact on the success of room service programs in hospitals. Heated serving carts, in particular, help ensure food is kept at proper temperatures and delivered as quickly as possible. When a patient feels they have a choice in food selection and they receive their selection as promised in an acceptable amount of time, it is an easy win-win for a hospital’s overall perception and customer satisfaction scores.
A hospital’s fleet of heated serving carts is critical to making sure the meal experience is executed safely and successfully. It’s important to note that the top reason meals are rejected is due to temperature-related issues. A meal served cold when it’s meant to be hot reflects poorly on the hospital and makes a bad impression on the patient not to mention potentially compromising food safety.
There are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure hospital meals are served at the proper temperatures. Thermostats, timers and blowers should be regularly checked to confirm food is being heated to the correct temperature and warm air is circulating evenly throughout the cart.
Many carts feature a double door system that allows users to easily access the trays from either end of the cart. Don’t let a broken door, hinge, gasket or latch go unattended. This may result in limited tray access, which can present an ergonomic hazard for hospital personnel and make crowded, difficult-to-navigate hospital corridors even more cumbersome for meal delivery. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, loose latches and cracked gaskets make maintaining consistent air temperatures in the unit virtually impossible.
Hospitals endorse a quiet, relaxing environment for patients to rest and recover, yet squeaking or rattling serving carts can create a disturbance. In addition, carts with steering and vibration issues run the risk of spilling trays in transit and increase order-to-delivery time. For these reasons, it’s important to promptly replace problematic casters to stay ahead of these issues.
Keeping your serving carts working at top performance should not be an afterthought. Simple cart maintenance can make a big difference in patients’ overall perception of a room service program and the hospital as a whole. Presenting self-selected food that is served at the proper temperature and delivered at the promise time is an easy way for hospitals to improve their customer satisfaction rating and the quality of care received at their facility.
Heritage Parts is the industry’s trusted distributor of foodservice replacement parts with dedicated Parts Experts who can help you keep your service carts rolling. Call Heritage or visit HeritageParts.com for help identifying parts, placing an order or even locating a copy of your equipment’s owner manual.