Teamwork Central To Health System’s Food Program Success

December 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended nearly every activity and operation in healthcare facilities, and food service programs are no exception. To keep these revenue-generating operations up and running since the spring, facilities have tried a range of measures. For example, one system’s strategies and tactics involve a collaborative approach. 

The initiative undertaken early in the coronavirus crisis by Colorado’s UCHealth system features representatives from the dining programs at each system facility getting together in virtual team meetings a couple of times a week, according to Food Management.

Each meeting includes a formal comparison of data from a list of five key performance indicators that are tracked daily, weekly and monthly at each location, along with a discussion of successful initiatives undertaken by individual locations that might be adapted to others.

The results have been encouraging. The system overall has seen less of a revenue decline over the COVID period — around 30 percent overall — than many others around the country that have seen falloffs well over 50 percent over the same period. Several UCHealth hospitals even saw year-over-year gains.

The calls also involve representatives from support entities like marketing and the supply, which allows ideas to be implemented quickly. For instance, procurement requirements for the deployment of a menu program can be addressed and resolved, and marketing can quickly create and disseminate materials and signage for a systemwide campaign or initiative in a few days.

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