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The Power of Food: Pushing Hospital Dining Forward

This isn’t your typical hospital food. Hospital dining serves as a shining example of the power of food in a patient’s wellness journey.

At the heart of the evolution of hospital dining lies an emphasis on experience. Hospitals that invested in patient and retail dining operations have seen tremendous growth—not just in revenues but in patient experience scores and healthier communities. Even with this success, there is room for even further advancement.

According to the North American Association of Food Equipment Manager’s Datassential report, 76 percent of patients and residents eat every meal at their hospital or long-term care facility. That serves as a major opportunity to improve the health of patients as they recover and create a habit of long-term wellness.

Morrison Healthcare embraces this opportunity every day.

“We know the true power of food,” said Tim Pierce, CEO of Morrison Healthcare. “Food is more than just a part of a hospital’s business. It can and should serve as the foundation for success and wellness. Food can touch lives, promote healing, and transform the entire healthcare experience. This passion is what drives us every day.”

With a team looking at the holistic needs of patients, Morrison Healthcare has more than 1,400 registered dietitians, 500 executive chefs, and 25,000 professional foodservice team members. Great food and nutrition services start with the frontline associates who are committed to excellence every meal, every customer, every day.

This extends to every facet of hospital dining.

Patient Menus are Evolving

Menus are no longer just lists of food offerings. They are a tool the culinary team uses to educate patients about the nutritional value of the food they get at the hospital. These may be foods they’ve eaten their entire lives, but now they can learn about their nutritional benefits, leading them to make better food choices once they leave the hospital.

As healthcare continues to see a shift towards a consumer-centric model, patients expect their food offerings to be similar to those they get outside of the hospital. That includes major food trends, such as plant-based meals.

Medically Tailored Meals

Chefs across the country are developing plans to deliver medically tailored meals to discharged patients. Most of these pilot programs focus on food insecure individuals and are tailored to meet the therapeutic dietary needs of patients with a nutrition-related chronic disease.

Through the medically tailored meals programs, patients receive not only several meals per week but also an assortment of resources and education. They learn what ingredients to pick when cooking healthy meals and how to prepare the food and how to shop when they go to the grocery store.

Teaching Kitchen

Morrison Healthcare offers resources for patients and family members to expand their knowledge on healthy lifestyles. The Teaching Kitchen program is an interactive platform for individuals to explore food, culinary skills, and nutrition literacy in a collaborative team-building environment which helps positively impact food choices and experiences.

Food has powerful healing potential. With strategic efforts targeted at educating communities and providing excellent foodservice, hospitals can make a tangible impact on the health of their patients and the wellbeing of entire communities.

Want to know what are the latest culinary trends in Morrison Healthcare’s kitchens? Download our latest culinary trends report!

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