Healthcare workers devote their lives to making people healthier. However, when a person is hospitalized, these efforts may go to waste. The lack of appetizing food in a hospital makes it hard for a patient to eat healthily. In addition, when a doctor recommends dietary changes, the hospital may not be able to accommodate these changes.
Morrison Healthcare took note of this and now offers food designed to help patients in hospitals thrive. The provider understands the power of the food a person puts in their body and how it affects the immune system. Nutritious food strengthens and heals patients and those who care for them. Why is this important?
Malnutrition in Hospitals
A person should be well fed while they are in the hospital, but that is not always the case. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition found that up to 50 percent of hospital patients worldwide suffer from malnutrition.
The patients may enter the hospital malnourished, but the problem is exacerbated by the food they are served while in the facility. This puts them at a higher risk of an adverse outcome when they are discharged.
American healthcare workers have known about this problem for decades now. However, formal recommendations on how to improve this have yet to be made because of a lack of studies. Researchers estimate that 33 percent of patients in American hospitals remain at risk of malnutrition today.
The Problem with Hospital Food
Food served in hospitals tends to be colorless and bland. Hospitals must operate under a budget, just as other businesses around the world do. Making changes to dietary options isn’t easy.
However, doctors need to teach patients how to eat healthier. Doing so reduces the risk of chronic diseases and hospital admissions related to these diseases. A healthy diet should start in the hospital just as patients undergo rehab before leaving the facility.
Where Can Changes Be Made?
A hospital can begin making changes by offering foods using fresh ingredients from local providers. Foods should be made from scratch rather than a box, as fresh foods taste better and are more nutritional. Patients actually look forward to meals rather than dreading them.
Beyond the Patient
However, patients aren’t the only ones who eat hospital food. Visitors to the facility, administrative staff, and healthcare workers also consume this food regularly. For this reason, every hospital should offer healthy options throughout the facility. The health of the community improves when they do so.
In addition, offering healthy menu options helps to attract top talent. Workers are healthier and miss less time from work, and patients have better outcomes. This change reaches far beyond the patient, yet many healthcare facilities either fail to recognize this or put off making changes for other reasons.
When a hospital offers outstanding food service, amazing things happen. Overall complications decline dramatically, as do avoidable readmissions. With the right food choices and education on how to eat a healthy diet, a hospital finds it can help patients get healthy and stay that way after they head home.