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High quality healthcare meets high quality dining

Published 03/01/2021

Healthy foods and good nutrition have always been part of South County Health’s philosophy toward patient care. Now, patients who are admitted for an overnight stay at South County Hospital have even more meal and snack choices to ensure that inpatient dining satisfies their recovery process and their taste buds.

On Monday, March 1, Unidine, the hospitality and culinary professionals that provide over 425 meals each day for South County Hospital’s patients, staff, and visitors, introduced a new menu with a wide variety of freshly made options to please everyone’s taste buds and dietary needs.

The personalized dining services, known as MyDine, uses an integrated technology solution that appeals to individual preferences while maintaining the kitchen’s ability to prepare and serve daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to hospitalized patients.

The new feature was orchestrated by David Gauvin, Director of Food & Nutrition at South County Hospital. The program has been used successfully in healthcare systems across the country and he is excited that South County Hospital will now participate in the service.

“Our patients want more than the basic options that are associated with hospital food,” Gauvin said. “This program will raise the dining experience to the level our patients expect.”

South County Health consistently receives high marks in patient experience scores, in part, due to the multi-disciplinary approach that its primary care and specialty physicians, clinicians, and other staff use in the day-to-day care of patients.

South County Hospital’s new inpatient menu will offer made-to-order breakfast items in addition to the prepared bakery items, yogurts, fruit, and cereal selections. Lunch and dinner options will include a variety of entrees and sides, in addition to hot and cold daily chef specials.

Deli items will still include a variety of sandwich options and hot soups, with the welcome addition of hand-formed burgers.

Diners will also have a variety of made-to-order salad options, as well as a selection of beverages and desserts.

How MyDine works

Anyone who has been admitted to South County Hospital for an overnight stay will receive a visit from South County Hospital’s Food & Nutrition Guest Service Representative.

After going over the menu selections, the staff will enter the patient’s meal choices using an iPad that connects to the kitchen, as well as the patient’s electronic medical records, to ensure that the selections comply with any allergy restrictions and physician recommendations.

Inpatients are also welcome to make menu selections and order between-meal snacks by phone from their rooms.

The change will extend South County Health’s multi-disciplinary model of patient care to directly include dietary, improving communication between the dietary staff, inpatients, and providers to ensure satisfaction and support health goals.

“We have registered dietitians who are available to discuss meal selections with patients if they have any questions,” Gauvin said.

Improving patient care and experience is the overarching objective of the dining improvements, but on the outside, most people will agree on one thing, Gauvin said.

“The food is good. We’re making authentic food from scratch, using fresh, responsible sourced, seasonal ingredients and culinary creativity.”

Guest options

To ensure that good food is accessible, dining services has extended its hours of operation from 7 am to 7 pm. The extended hours will allow patients to enjoy dining at regular meal times, as well as hours in between for those who are just coming in, leaving, or in a waiting area.

Guest can enjoy a guest tray, also delivered to rooms, for just $5.

The MyDine system provides patients with breakfast service from 7 am – 7 pm, and lunch and dinner from 11 am – 7 pm.

South County Hospital Cafeteria

The cafeteria at South County Hospital will continue its traditional menu and service for visitors, staff, and others. Weekly menu selections are accessible to staff via the intranet, and displayed inside the cafeteria on a television monitor.

Important to note: South County Hospital’s kitchen will provide a variety of gluten free and plant-based items. However, the kitchen is not exclusively gluten free or vegan.

Under South County Hospital’s Level 1 Reduced Visitor Restrictions, the cafeteria is open only to staff until further notice. Visitors may be able to order from the menu when visiting an admitted patient. Please ask the care team of the patient you are visiting for more information.