Food as Medicine in the Healthcare Setting

April 20, 2021

While hospital food has often had negative associations of being bland or unpleasant, healthcare facilities are seeking ways to provide a better overall experience for their patients and staff with healthy, tasty menus. Dietary services play an integral role in patient care, especially in these trying times with constrained budgets and the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Healthcare facilities with dietary services that offer high quality nutrition with a focus on food as medicine can help make hospitals more competitive in improving not only patients’ experience and well-being, but also employee satisfaction and retention.

These services can include:

  • Selection and purchase of foods in close working relationship with the healthcare facility’s purchasing department
  • Receipt and storage of food items
  • Preparation and delivery of food
  • Up-to-date policies and procedures to guide patients’ nutritional status assessment
  • Monitoring patient meals
  • Nutrition counseling and custom diets for patients per their nutritional requirement
  • Maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene
  • Proper dishwashing

Good nutritional practice must encompass the diverse needs of patients, and assessing the dietary needs of each healthcare facility is necessary for successful menu planning and appropriate food provision. As part of discharge planning, nutrition education not only sets a good example, but can also lower costs through improved patient outcomes and reduced readmission.

Vanguard Resources can help enhance your healthcare facility’s dining experience and food quality with a customized food and nutrition program. We design delicious menu items to staff preferences, and our Dietitian Direct service offers a licensed dietician to build healthy entrees. Visit our website or call us today at (210) 495-1950 to find out how you can lower food service costs and improve your healthcare facility’s dietary services.