A Healthy Choice

A hospital in Carthage, Missouri (America’s Maple Leaf City) is now pleasing patients and cutting waste by offering room service.Photo by Dalboz17 via Creative Commons

Since last week, patients at McCune-Brooks Hospital can order meals by phone and enjoy whatever their (hopefully healthy) heart desires 30 minutes later. No word yet on which is more exorbitant, these health insurance-billed meals or hotel room service.

The best news from this change to the ARAMARK-run food service: With the new system in place, waste will be “reduced by nearly two-thirds.”

Second best news: All-day breakfast!

How might on-demand ordering trim food waste? This article lends some insight:

Because all meals are dumped into the trash whether a patient has nibbled on it or not, hospitals are constantly plagued by overwhelming food waste.

Furthermore, McCune-Brooks’ old system was just bananas:

“Let’s say you’re in the hospital and you just want a bowl of cereal. In the old way, we had to send you a full course breakfast, whether you wanted it or not,” Demery said.

McCune-Brooks isn’t the first hospital to implement on-demand ordering, but it’s a nice reminder of the importance of choice in hospital food. Whether it’s calling room service, ordering on a menu card or clicking your choice online (which has to exist somewhere), allowing patients to select their own meals can lower waste and raise spirits.

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