The Power of Food - Patient Menu

Written by: Chef Cary Neff on November 29, 2016


Power of Food- Patient Menu
Not long ago, hospital food was… well, hospital food — bland and an unexciting combination of nutrients in the form of food. Doctors prescribed key nutrients that patients needed for fast healing and nourishment. Hospital dietitians translated those nutrients into food orders that the culinary production managers would source, cook and dish up. Expectations were simple, yet low and attention was rightly paid to accurate and safe food handling practices of cook and hold times and temperature. Little attention was paid to selecting high quality, nutrient dense and flavorful ingredients or the satisfying experience of the patient.

Meal preparation with care by a Morrison Healthcare Chef
Meal preparation with care by a Morrison Healthcare Chef

For decades, the entire industry was content on low cost patient meals that met the regulatory compliance for their patients. Although this kept costs low, it also led to very low patient satisfaction scores and the food lacked the satisfying and comforting flavors that entice ill patients to want to eat, thus, earning the moniker…hospital food.
Fast forward to today, where healthcare institutions compete by distinguishing themselves from one another with their ability to attract and retain world-class physicians. Cost remains a driving factor and regulatory compliance is always necessary, but the ability to positively impact patient satisfaction is a determining factor in the healthcare organization’ ability to receive reimbursements. I quote from a prominent healthcare CEO “we might have cured mom from her cancer, but if we can’t get her meal right we failed”. No longer are low cost nutrient packed food-like substances acceptable.

Armed with the industry’s most talented and recognized registered dietitians, culinarians and patient experience team members, Morrison Healthcare is re-writing the script for patient menus and changing the perception of hospital food and the entire healthcare food service industry from the inside out by developing new standards. This new standard directly challenges the status quo of unappealing, bland, boring “hospital food” by preparing food that represents the benefits of “Great Living” through the Power of Food.

The Great Living menu illustrates a collection of globally inspired recipes and American regional home-style favorites. The recipes focus on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and are complimented with lean meats and poultry. We also choose antibiotic free dairy products and sustainable fish. Our goal was to create a heart healthy menu that met the nutritional needs for low sodium, cardiac and diabetic diet requirements while providing the comforting flavor needs of the patient with no diet restrictions.

Patients can enjoy restaurant style food service in Morrison Client Hospitals
Patients can enjoy restaurant style food service in Morrison Client Hospitals

Our commitment to ensuring patient satisfaction shines through our partnership with the hospital nursing teams who work with our chefs to make sure the food tastes good and meets dietary standards. Don’t be surprised to see our chefs in the patient rooms either. Morrison chefs greet patients in their rooms to personally to find out what they can do to make their stay more comfortable.

It’s simple really — consciously sourced quality ingredients that’s prepared artfully presented couple with unmatched dining services… that’s The Power of Food.