Online Meal Ordering: Improving the Patient Experience with the Comforts of Home

3/28/2012 | Lacey Andrews

As patients become more comfortable with technology at home, they come to expect certain amenities in the hospital as well. Certainly the ability to watch TV and movies, play games and even surf the internet are becoming commonplace in the patient room and now patients are happy to order their meals through the TV as well.

A Skylight client hospital here in California recently went live with Online Meal Ordering via integration with their dietary software. Skylight turned on the ability for patients to order meals through the in-room television at 10:00am. Typical with any new integration, members of Skylight’s Client Services team were onsite to train the nurses and dietary staff between 10am-2pm so they would be able to help patients order dinner that afternoon.

patient-meal-orderingThat morning, the Director of Nutritional and Guest Services made her rounds to a few of the patients letting them know someone would be in that afternoon to help them order dinner.  The dietary office began receiving meal orders through the Skylight system a few minutes later. As soon as patients knew they could order their meals through the TV, they navigated, on their own, to the “Order Meals” button on the Skylight main menu and placed their orders. When Skylight’s account management team arrived to train the staff, they were already giving great feedback on how intuitive the Skylight Interactive Patient System was to use.

Skylight was back onsite for a follow-up meeting two weeks later and heard the same story from various staff members who weren’t even involved in the integration – the success story had made its way around the hospital!  The nurses in the meeting were raving about what a huge patient satisfier the new feature has been! Not only do patients feel empowered but they are able to order exactly what they want, when they want it which is cutting down on food waste. Instead of the dietary office spending much of their time entering paper menu orders into a computer, they are spending more time at the bedside helping patients make the right meal choices and offering nutritional education.

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