Sault Area Hospital (SAH) has implemented a new patient food system for meal preparation and delivery. SAH, in conjunction with Morrison, the health care food service division of Compass Group Canada, has introduced Steamplicity, an innovative patient meal delivery system.
SAH is committed to ensuring that patients receive nutritious tasty food served with care and personal attention. “Our new patient food system combines all the factors that we know our patients value most when it comes to hospital food – nutrition, taste, choice, less waste and patient service excellence,” says Kelli-Ann Lemieux, Director of Clinical Support Services and Chief Allied Health Professional.
Steamplicity is a unique system which uses steam to cook foods. “Steamplicity is our exclusive cooking system which steam cooks food to perfection, ensuring taste and nutrients are preserved,” says Suzanne Robinson, Morrison Food Service and Clinical Nutrition Manager. “Our groundbreaking, patented technology uses a pressure valve which allows for steam-cooked, healthy food in minutes, made possible with microwave energy and a steam valve system like a pressure cooker.”
Other hospitals who have implemented Steamplicity have shown enhanced patient satisfaction with meals, reporting patient satisfaction rates greater than 90%. Meals are designed by a Red Seal Chef and Registered Dietitians who are passionate about plate appeal, nutrition and taste. SAH staff and patients participated in taste testing prior to introducing this new technology and the results were very positive. “The presentation by Steamplicity food system representatives reassured those of us taking part in the taste-testing that the program will offer a quality food experience for SAH in-patients,” said former Patient and Family Advisory Council member Brent Rankin. “In addition to important features like nutritional content and menu choices, each of the options was delicious.”
Meals will be assembled in SAH’s main kitchen. “Most hospitals in the Greater Toronto area using Steamplicity order pre-made plates from a central Cuisine Centre, but at SAH we will have our own Cuisine Centre and assemble our own plates in the main kitchen, allowing greater control over what foods we include,” explains Lemieux. The meals are then cooked in the unit pantries minutes before they are delivered to patients. A total of six pantries are equipped with microwaves, fridges, coffee, tea, soup kettles and hot cereal.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of the Steamplicity system is the choice that it offers patients, resulting in less food tray waste. This system offers a large selection with 12 to 16 entree items to choose from every day and all special diets are addressed in the system. “Patients will choose their meals from a restaurant-style menu close to mealtime, while still complying with any dietary restrictions,” says Lemieux. “Since patients can choose all their food and beverages, patients are eating and drinking what they order, resulting in tray waste reduction of 40%.”
With the new system, SAH’s Food Services staff will be available on the patient units to provide personal attention while taking the patient’s order using an iPad directly linked to the Food Services IT system. “Our staff will interact with patients and enter their order into an iPad which is helpful because it flags any dietary restrictions the patient may have. Also, the choices will be checked electronically to ensure they are aligned with dietary restrictions such as low sodium requirements,” states Lemieux.
Although implementing Steamplicity has required an investment in constructing the pantries/kitchenettes and minimal upgrades for the main kitchen assembly area, it is anticipated that there will be increased patient satisfaction, reduced operating costs and less waste.
To find out more about SAH, visit: www.sah.on.ca