After three years of planning, Yale-New Haven Hospital introduced the new concept in the preparation and delivering of meals to inpatients. Entitled “At Your Request” Room Service Dining allows patients to order any item on the menu as long as their physician has not placed any restrictions on their meals. The orders are received by telephone in a new call center, where up to ten dietetic technicians create a meal ticket, which prints directly in the kitchen for preparation and assembly. A team of chefs create create the custom-ordered meals where they are combined with beverages and other accompaniments.
The first step in the multi-phased approach was the construction of a new satellite kitchen to provide swing space for the remaining five phases and to allow uninterrupted meal preparation to continue. The entire existing kitchen was demolished and retrofitted to accommodate the new full-service kitchen for the room service program. Substantial upgrades were completed to the electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
When the custom-prepared meals are completed, Food and Nutrition Ambassadors deliver the finished trays on specially designed carts to the patients rooms. Patients receive their meals withing 45 minutes of placing their order. The program is one of the largest food service programs in North America, serving approximately 1,500 patient meals per day from two tray lines.
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