Morrison Healthcare embraces the philosophy that delicious food is healing food, where small and happy surprises abound. For instance, after a recent Morrison opening, two different patients called down to the kitchen and asked to speak directly with the chef—just to say that they had enjoyed a wonderful meal.
It’s not a call anyone expects when the job is creating healthy hospital food, but it’s certainly the call they want. In fact, it’s the call anyone in a food service job wants to receive. But Morrison’s patient dining services team focuses on delivering more than just hospital food. The Morrison team sees each patient as an opportunity to create a positive patient experience.
In most cases, people visit hospitals for serious medical issues, perhaps to receive test results or even visit the ER. “Unless you’re in the maternity ward, under the happiest of circumstances, mealtime is one of the most anticipated parts of the day and an important source of comfort,” says Scott Ewing, Director of Patient Dining Services for Morrison Healthcare. “The most important part of training a new associate is letting them know that their job is to create an experience that the patient looks forward to.”
Ewing began his career in food service management at Walt Disney World, where cast members’ core mission is to create magical moments for guests. At the same time, Disney dining experiences embrace company-wide safety and operations standards that ensure the consistency of every creation, and the well-being of every guest. This consciously magical corporate culture informed and inspired Ewing’s healthcare career.
After becoming a registered dietitian (RD), Ewing carried Disney’s focus to each diner’s experience, but with an added focus on safety. Consistency and confidence are key to performing his job well. Everything from the presentation of the patient’s tray to how the associate enters and exits the room all stack up to a positive patient experience.
Something as simple as a kind knock on the door or asking if there is anything else the patient needs, are easy ways to demonstrate care and respect. These small but meaningful touches which express to the patient and his or her family that quality care is being provided.
Patients and visitors may not even realize these invisible standards, but each contributes to their health, safety, and emotional well-being.
For example, one new process that has been introduced at a recent transition is a double check. Double checks are conducted by certified associates and are essentially a chance for our team to take a second look at trays for people with food allergies or modified diet texture. Before any tray is delivered, the patient is identified by both name and birth date, just in case there are two John Smiths with very different nutritional needs. This type of quality control saves lives, and the patient never even needs to know that their condition required any extra effort.
Ewing and his team collaborate with a vast network of experts across several Morrison account locations whenever a new patient dining program launches to introduce changes and establish routines. Colleagues from all over the country have joined Ewing and his team to share best practices and ease the pain of change in new accounts.
A fundamental part of that success story, according to Ewing, has been the consistent communication and collaboration between the client administration and food service teams. “Our customer places a lot of value and importance in sharing stories throughout the organization,” he explained. “And as a result, everyone is completely aligned.”
With the help of our team across all of our locations, we are changing how people perceive hospital food and food service one positive patient experience at a time.