A Publication of WTVP

June 8th marks the start of a new patient service at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. Signature Service—an inpatient room service—will offer patients a personalized dining experience through “on-demand, cooked-to-order” meals.

Kelli Nichols, director of hospitality services, spearheaded the project. “Room service is the best thing since sliced bread! Instead of having to order meals a day in advance, patients order from restaurant-style menus, and the food is delivered to their rooms in 45 minutes or less.

Patients have the ability to order what they want, when they want it. Our primary goal is for this service to be an extension of our continuing commitment to providing an excellent patient experience. Room service has proven to provide benefits in many areas: improved food intake with patients, reduced patient food costs, improved patient satisfaction scores and an increase in the overall patient experience.”

Food service ambassadors are the friendly faces providing patient education regarding the meal ordering process. If a patient is unable or uncomfortable with the meal request procedure, ambassadors give continued assistance as needed. Once familiar with the ordering process, patients are able to submit their meal orders when they are hungry rather than on a dictated schedule. Having this increased flexibility will raise the potential for better meal consumption, which contributes to the healing process as well as patient satisfaction.

Orders are processed by the call center, where the meal request is checked for compliance with the patient’s dietary restrictions. A system trigger will create an alert if a patient hasn’t ordered, allowing staff to follow up with him or her. When necessary or beneficial, patient families will be able to place their relative’s meal order for them, either from the patient’s room or remotely. “Hold and fire” will also be available, enabling a patient to order their entire day’s menu with one call, or to place a standing order.

The role of food service expeditor oversees the plating of the meal—making sure that all elements of the order are included and that there is a quality presentation. Once a meal request is placed, it will be delivered by the transport team within 30 to 45 minutes.

The Signature Service program expands our ability to provide comfort to our patients while continuing our keen focus on patient health. The program also has a positive economic impact, as approximately 15 staff positions were created to support the endeavor.

Over 20 menus have been developed, catering to the diverse dietary needs of all patients. Patients will now be able to order breakfast items at any time of the day. Build-A-Sandwich is another option providing true customization, since the patient is able to order the sandwich exactly as they want it. In addition, our menu options have expanded, offering more than 20 delicious new recipes developed specifically for our medical center by consulting executive chef Mark Dybold. In July, this service will expand to include guest trays. iBi