Call to order: New room service food delivery system


Halton Healthcare Service (HHS) recently introduced Call to Order, a new Room Service food delivery system, on selected patient care units at Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH). Like its name implies, with Call to Order, patients can order their food by telephone from their hospital room anytime during the day.

“This is a huge change from both a service and a production perspective – and quite innovative compared to our previous meal selection system. When people are unwell, they don’t always feel like eating, and certainly not at regular meal times. They may crave certain comfort foods – like toast and tea or soup and crackers,” explains Elma Hrapovich, HHS Director, Nutrition and Food Services. “We knew that we needed a more patient-focused, flexible, and service based system and are thrilled with the new Call to Order Program.”

Call to Order is available from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, seven days a week on selected units at OTMH. Patients can expect to receive their meals at their bedside within 45 minutes after they place their order.

The nursing teams determine each patient’s eligibility for Room Service on their unit and this information is then entered into the hospital’s computerized diet order process. Patients who have a visual or hearing impairment or a language barrier may be assisted by a diet technician or a family member. Patients who are deemed as inappropriate (those on intravenous or a liquid diet), will have meal choices selected for them.

“After their initial order, each eligible patient will receive a Room Service menu specific to their dietary need,” explains Ms. Hrapovich. “We also have a number of safeguards and alerts in place to ensure that only those who have been identified as ‘Room Service eligible’ are allowed to order, that no one from the general patient population is missing more than one meal and that our high risk diet patients – such as those with diabetes – are not skipping any meals.”

“This new patient-driven model has been very well received by our patients and their families,” continues Ms. Hrapovich. “With Call to Order, patients get what they feel like eating (be it a bowl of soup or a fresh cold salad) when they are hungry – and therefore, are more likely to eat it. In addition to increasing patient satisfaction, Call to Order eliminates the need for replacement trays and helps reduce unnecessary waste. Now that we have successfully implemented this new model, we have the option of expanding it to other inpatient units in the future, if there is an interest.”

“This new food delivery system is more responsive and will help enhance the patient experience at OTMH,” concludes Allan Halls, HHS Vice President, Support Services. “By introducing this model now, we also have an opportunity to implement and fine
tune the process before we move to the New Oakville Hospital.”