If you thought room service was the stuff of high-end hotels and elegant, ivy-covered inns, think again! On July 29, New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Cape Fear Hospital rolled out its room service operations, an initiative long in the making meant to further enhance the patient experience at NHRMC. “It’s all about serving the patient and making the patient stay more convenient and more meaningful,” said Tony DeSanctis, NHRMC’s Director of Food Services.
How it works
When patients are hungry, they dial “TO GO,” a number specific to food services, and submit their breakfast, lunch or dinner orders. Orders are based on an extensive, bed-side menu that includes everything from soups and sandwiches to pork loin, chicken and pot roast entrees. Patients may dial room service direct from their rooms from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
And room service isn’t just for those who know about it. “It’s how we now serve all meals to all patients … so all patients order through room service," said DeSanctis. “That way patients get to express their preferences and are greeted with a meal made to their specifications.” Meals usually arrive within 45 minutes, some earlier, he said.
Menu choices are also sensitive to patient conditions. Patients with diabetes or those just out of surgery, for example, have a menu specific to their needs. And patients can eat anytime they want, skirting traditional meal times.
“For patients who don’t eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at traditional times, there’s the opportunity to order when they feel like it … thus our room service slogan of ‘Patients can have what they want, when they want it,’” DeSanctis said.
DeSanctis said room service would be available at NHRMC’s main campus sometime late 2009 or early 2010 after main campus kitchen renovations are complete.
The Buzz About Room Service
Cape Fear Hospital nursing assistant Amanda Ansbach says patients have reacted “positively” and with “overwhelming enthusiasm” about the recent room service implementation.
“It’s a great new addition to the quality services we already provide here at Cape Fear,” Ansbach said. “Patients are just so excited because of the food choices and options they have. It’s been non-stop chatter.”
“It was so refreshing to see they offered room service,” said Wallace resident Sam Meale, a recent patient at Cape Fear. “You don’t see that kind of amenity offered much in the hospital setting.” And as for food and service: “It couldn’t be better – the food is great, and the staff are a class operation,” he said.
For patients unable to order because of their condition, nurses and the patients’ families often help in the selection process, said Ansbach. “Every patient is included.”
Ansbach said room service also makes good financial and environmental sense.
“Because patients get what they want and are more likely to eat it, there’s less waste,” she said. “And that’s good for our environment.”
Ansbach said she and her colleagues were some of room service’s first taste testers.
“The food was great, we loved it!” she said.
With great pleasure, Ansbach even revealed some of the menu’s many sweet temptations: “There’s even milkshakes on the menu, can you believe it?”
If you or a loved-one is a patient at Cape Fear Hospital, NHRMC Food Services would like to introduce you to its new room service amenity. Patients in the hospital please dial extension 8646 to begin your room service experience.