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By Emily Yeh, Tripler Public Affairs
HONOLULU-Tripler’s Nutrition Care Division (NCD) began offering room service dining for in-patients on October 27th. Tripler’s priority of providing patients with high-quality, personalized care continues with this new program. Tripler patients will now enjoy a similar dining experience to the room service guests receive at hotels.
A patient’s medical needs will not be overlooked and will always be the prime focus during their stay at Tripler, but this new service gives the patient’s an opportunity to feel more at home, enhancing the recovery process. Patients will have more control of their daily routine and personal well-being ordering their own personalized meals.
“It is the goal of Tripler’s Nutrition Care Division to provide patient centered meal service that looks and tastes great, is made fresh to order and meets the nutritional needs of our patients,” stated Ltc. Julie Hudson, Chief, Nutrition Care Division, Tripler.
For short term in-patients, it allows minimum interruption to their current lifestyle. For long-term patients, it also provides this benefit, with the added value of learning a new way to look at food and nutrition.
“Adequately nourishing patients is a major concern, especially in a hospital setting. Many patients eat poorly while in the hospital. Proper nutrition positively impacts clinical outcomes and can reduce a patient’s recovery time,” stated Capt. Stephanie Gasper, Chief, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Tripler. “Room service has the added benefit of allowing the patient to select the food they want to eat, when they want to eat it, which encourages patients to improve their overall nutritional status,” added Gasper.
The customizable adult and keiki menus allow patients to choose meals tailored to their needs and habits. Each meal is prepared within 45 minutes of an order. Patients, or designated family members, can call (808) 433-6495 to order meals anytime between the hours of 7:00 am–6:00 pm, seven days a week. Trained call center staff take the orders, generating a ticket which initiates preparation of the meal. A specially trained Room Service Attendant is then dispatched to deliver the food to a patient’s bedside.
The extensive menu, provided when a patient is admitted, offers a variety of choices for a diner. The menu features an all-day breakfast, made-to-order salads, personal pizzas, grill items, local Hawaiian favorites and dessert.
Many cultures connect using food and it is an important component to everyone’s life. Tripler is sensitive to these needs and can make religious and cultural accommodations.
“At Tripler we strive to provide patient-centered, culturally sensitive, health care,” states Maj. Maria Yates, Chief, Production and Services Branch, Tripler. “The new room service menus offer local Hawaiian favorites like loco moco, kalua pork and cabbage, and a teriyaki burger. We also offer special menus for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas,” added Yates.
The new room service amenity offers an opportunity to provide education to patients as well.
Heart healthy options (tasty foods lower in sodium, fat and cholesterol) are offered and denoted with a heart on the menus. The menus also offer nutritional tidbits such as the amount of carbohydrates per serving of a particular choice. For example, patients with diabetes can monitor their intake with food items by using the corresponding number of carbohydrates per serving as a guide.
Providing quality care to beneficiaries in a highly reliable setting is a priority for Tripler and the Nutrition Care Division.
Capt. Mary Staudter, Chief, Production and Service, Tripler, emphasizes, “room service is geared toward ensuring patients receive the nutrition, and nutrition education, they need to enhance their dietary requirements, make sound dietary choices and speed recovery. We know our well-designed menu and great tasting food will play a critical role in enhancing the overall patient experience.”