December 14, 2015

RVH and SFMH collaborate on new healthy food services program

Renfrew Victoria Hospital and St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry’s Bay have joined forces to improve their food services programs.

The two hospitals are collaborating on an integrated food services program with a focus on healthier foods for patients’ regular and special diets, as well as providing nutritional analysis and more individual menu choices. The hospitals’ cafeterias will also offer healthier menus.

The new program, provided by Sysco Canada, our primary food service distributor, includes a software system, called Synergy on Demand (SOD), which has a beginning database of over 11,000 recipes. The software also can help to organize menus and provide costing, along with patient profiles and production sheets, says RVH Dietitian Pam Cranfield, who is leading the project.

Both hospitals have always had a focus on healthy diets for their patients, says Cranfield, “but the SOD software program will assist us in increasing this, as we will be obtaining likes and dislikes from all of the patients (regular and special diets) and individualizing the master menu for each patient.” Cranfield adds that the meal plans will follow the patient’s dietary and medical requirements, as well as taking into account the patient’s likes and dislikes. And “the meals will have a healthier focus with lower fat and sodium and increased fibre.”

Gregory McLeod, Chief Operating Officer at SFMH, says this collaboration has benefits for both hospitals. “We have been able to leverage resources and, through a joint negotiation process with our food vendor, we have been able to get a better deal. That means savings and efficiencies for both hospitals.” Although SFMH had been using Sysco’s services already, RVH switched from another supplier to make the joint program possible.

“The staff at both sites are collaborating and partnering to ensure a healthy menu,” says McLeod. “We are cost-sharing the implementation, training, etc. And joint negotiations are key to creating an efficient program.”

“Sysco Canada is pleased to be partnering with RVH and SFMH on this initiative. Successes from implementing this SOD food service software solution will assist in minimizing patient risk, provide greater operational efficiencies, and focus on patient-centred care for both hospitals,” explains Karen Hurley, RD, Sysco’s Manager of Healthcare Systems.

Randy Penney, CEO at both RVH and SFMH, agrees that the collaboration is a win-win situation. “There are definite benefits for both sites in terms of patient-centred care, and patient satisfaction.”

The program will also help ensure the menus and recipes meet Canada’s Food Guide standards through the consultation of dietitians.

Julia Boudreau, RVH Vice-President of Corporate Services, points out, the new program should help both hospitals to achieve higher goals in the Healthy Foods in Champlain Hospitals project, which was established in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (CLHIN) to show leadership in helping people to make healthy food choices.

“The new program should enable SFMH to achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold status, and RVH to move forward from Bronze to Silver and Gold status in both its cafeteria and patient food services,” says Boudreau.

Implementation of the new system is planned to begin at RVH in January 2016, followed closely by SFMH.

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For more information please contact:
Randy Penney, President and CEO, Renfrew Victoria Hospital, 613-432-4851, ext. 260

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