Patient meal ordering goes digital in drive to reduce waste

A new electronic patient meal ordering system is being trialled at two Solent hospital sites from today.

Ward hosts at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton and St Mary’s Community Health Campus in Portsmouth will be able to take menu orders much closer to patients’ mealtimes using a digital tablet rather than an old-school paper system.

The project allows real-time updates on the patients, hugely improving communication between ward hosts, patients and kitchen staff, who can then update with dietary requirements, portion size and allergies as needed.

Iain Robertson, Catering Operations Manager, said: “The replacement of paper-based meal ordering with electronic methods avoids the need to print, distribute and collect menus for patients.

“The electronic meal ordering will help to improve efficiency and modernise the way that orders are completed; ultimately it’s about giving the patient the food they fancy and helping them on the road to recovery at the same time as reducing hospital waste.”

After today’s launch at two pilot sites, the digital system will be extended to both Western Community Hospital in Southampton and St James’ Hospital in Portsmouth by the end of the month.

The catering team is also launching an a la Carte style standard menu along with dietary and cultural related supporting menus.  These will provide an extensive food choice for patients, less wastage for the service and personalised patient dietary menus with nutrition and allergen information readily available.

Naz Ahmed, Assistant Catering Manager, said: “This project should be a really positive step forward in the world of hospital food. Having helped develop the patient menu choices and cards, I’m really looking forward to seeing the system in action and the benefits it should bring.”

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