In hospitals, senior care communities, and other types of healthcare facilities, the goal is always to ensure better health. Whether that’s helping a patient recover and improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle that already exists, food and beverage go a long way toward ensuring wellness.
As we’ve discussed in the past, one way to help patients and residents stay hydrated and nourished is to strategically place foods and beverages across a property, on a particular floor, or within a certain space that may otherwise go as unused. This helps encourage impulse food and beverage consumption that can contribute to good health practices, and while this is particularly important and is seen as the primary benefit of establishing hydration and nutrition carts, it certainly isn’t the only one.
The Hidden Benefit Is Choice
When it comes to recipients of foodservice in healthcare settings, those diners are often the ones who have health challenges. With health challenges often comes the lack of choice as it relates to food and beverage. And with a lack of choice can come the deterioration of mental health.
We’re not saying that setting up a water hydration station on a hospital floor will lead a patient to achieve optimal mental health, but what we are saying is there’s a correlation between recovery and wellness and providing choices to patients and residents. Even if it’s just one small moment in the day, having the ability to choose what to eat or drink, to decide whether or not to pour a refill, can be liberating for patients and residents in healthcare settings.
There Are Benefits for Operators, Too
Aside from promoting wellness, which is clearly the top goal of healthcare foodservice, there are other benefits for operators, as well. First is the elimination of food waste. Rather than bringing a tray with items into a patient’s room only to have them go uneaten, unconsumed, and discarded, operators that provide hydration and nutrition carts allow patients to only take what they want to eat or drink.
Setting up self-service stations can also contribute to higher reviews and ratings, which can go a long way toward securing higher reimbursement rates. And in today’s labor-starved workplaces, self-service stations are a great way to make the best use of the people on staff, providing a wider range of service with fewer resources.
Solutions from Lakeside That Deliver
Self-serve beverage service carts from Lakeside can help deliver patient and resident choice in healthcare and senior care environments. This often overlooked aspect of self-service can only be achieved with the proper equipment, and Lakeside's units are designed with both convenient storage and serving areas within the cart. Learn more about how self-serve hydration and nutrition carts can benefit your healthcare foodservice operation today.