Middletown, NY- Orange Regional Medical Center now offers room service for patients. The Room Service Dining Program allows patients to order their meals from a robust restaurant-style menu between 6:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. daily. Breakfast is delivered bedside anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. while lunch and dinner are delivered from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Pediatric patients have a kid-friendly menu to order from and a complimentary parent meal is also provided. Patients receive their meals approximately 45 minutes from the time they order.
“Our goal is to provide patients with more menu options as well as the ability to target the timing of their meal. This imparts a sense of control in an environment where it can feel like patients have very little,” says Vice President Support Services and Special Projects, Wayne Becker. “We are certain this will enhance patient satisfaction and help to provide a more comfortable stay.”
More than a year of planning has gone into implementing this personalized approach to food delivery. Since opening the new hospital, Orange Regional’s Nutrition and Food Services department reconstructed a portion of the kitchen to resemble the inner workings of a restaurant. This upgrade allows for a la carte cooking and preparation of fresh food resulting in faster service and personal touches to custom orders. Additionally, dietary staff members have gone through extensive training on several elements of the room service model. The menu selections have been modified by lowering the sodium, sugar and fat content so there is a variety of healthier selections to choose from based on a patient’s dietary needs. Accommodations are also made for those patients that follow certain diets such as gluten-free, Kosher, vegetarian or requiring other special nutritional needs. Main menu selections range from grilled salmon with mango chutney to grilled breast of chicken with wild mushrooms to home-style offerings such as country-style meatloaf and rotisserie chicken quarters.
“All food is now being made to order. All ingredients are fresh and each selection is made to our patient’s specifications,” says Director of Nutrition and Food Services Nancy Tienken. “We wanted to provide meals similar to what patients eat at home. Our motto is give them what they want, how they want it, when they want it.”
Under the previous system, a slip of paper was provided to a patient up to 24-hours in advance with limited and basic menu options. Based on selections, food was often prepared in bulk at one time and served to all patients at the same time each day without knowledge of the their recovery schedule or how they were feeling. As a result, a significant amount of food was wasted and meals were cold.
With the new system, patients phone in their order anytime between 6:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Nutrition and Food Service staff take orders, walking patients through the menu – if needed – and occasionally communicating any dietary alerts that are flagged on a patient’s electronic health record. When this happens, staff members assist patients with their meal selections and make recommendations for more suitable items. The orders are then printed, prepared to order and delivered at the patient’s convenience.
Family members and visitors may also utilize the Room Service Dining Program for a fee.
For more information about the Room Service Dining Program, contact Director of Nutrition and Food Services Nancy Tienken at 845-333-0403 or visit www.ormc.org.
Orange Regional Medical Center is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System.