A favorite topic among stand-up comedians, hospital food has been the brunt of endless jokes. Too bad (perhaps to the chagrin of the Seinfelds and Cosbys of the world) Virginia Hospital Center doesn't qualify. Our kitchen is serving up a whole new dining experience for patients. Try a sizzling fajita platter, with chicken or beef and all the fixings. Or an amply stuffed deli sandwich on your choice of bread with a side of fresh fruit. And did we mention the desserts?
Managed by Aramark Services, the room service program has garnered accolades from patients, both for flavor and presentation. In classic hotel style, Hospital rooms now come equipped with room service menus, from which patients may order meals any time between 7:00 am and 6:30 pm. Want lunch early? Order it for delivery at 11:00 am. Hungry for a snack? Call a request whenever the craving strikes.
The program is simple. Operators are on stand-by to field calls, using computerized screens to take note of patients' names, room numbers, and any dietary requirements that may require food substitutions or restrictions. The menu, which includes as many as 28 entrees daily, features a broad selection of culinary choices, from light fare to heartier dishes. Orders may be placed in advance, or for delivery within one hour.
Aside from making patients feel supremely pampered, the room service option gives folks the opportunity to eat the things they like most, at the times when they are hungry. Medical experts note that when people have access to foods they prefer, they tend to eat better - and eating well usually has positive effect on recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Room Service?
Room Service is an innovative new concept in patient meal service. Traditionally, patients have had to plan their meals 24 hours in advance for the next day. While striving to achieve the highest level of patient care possible, Room Service now gives the patient more flexibility. With Room Service, a patient can order a meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) when he or she feels like eating, and the meal will arrive with in 45 minutes.
Is Room Service the only way to order a patient meal?
The Room Service Program has replaced our traditional feeding program, however, if a patient is inappropriate to participate in the Room Service Program, they will be sent a non-select tray at specified times.
How does Room Service work?
Simply open the Room Service menu provided, select a preferred meal, pick up the phone and dial the specified number. A Room Service technician will take the patient's order using touch screen technology. The technology allows for modifications needed for therapeutic diets.
Who is eligible for Room Service?
At this time, Room Service is available to our patients. Guests and family members are invited to order a meal through Room Service for a small fee.
What time is Room Service available?
The following times are suggested (seven days a week).
Breakfast: 7:00 am - 9:30 am
Lunch: 11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Dinner: 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Are these the only times an order can be placed?
No. Meals may be ordered at any time from 7:00 am - 6:30 pm.
Is Room Service available after 6:30 pm?
No. Nursing will provide a meal from the floor. This is the current procedure.
What if a patient cannot place his or her own order?
We would prefer that a family member assist the patient in ordering meal selections, but a nurse can help as well. If a patient is appropriate for Room Service but needs assistance, they will be entered into the system as such and the Service Response Center will call the patient each meal for their order. The system has checks to make sure that the patients receive meals as appropriate.
Can a meal be ordered in advance?
Yes. The technology allows for two meals to be placed into order at one time. We do not recommend using this function unless necessary. Doing so reduces the effectiveness of the program. The time each meal is to be delivered can be specified at the time of order.