Hospital Administrators Partner with Cura: Acute Care FoodService Provider of Choice

 

Today’s hospital administrators recognize that food service is not their core competency.    Relying on the experts gives administrators the ability, and more time, to focus on their core business. 

Cura is proud to be that expert, and one that top healthcare networks select as the acute care foodservice contractor of choice to support their goals, while increasing patient experience outcomes!

COMPLETELY SATISFIED DRIVES PATIENT OUTCOMES

Cura delivers high-quality food and nutritional services through Completely Satisfied, its signature patient-centered care program where team members are visible and focused on each patient’s specific health and dietary needs, as well as their unique preferences.   This Patient Experience approach improves patient satisfaction outcomes, including increasing hospitals’ high-ranking Press Ganey scores, the most recognized national patient-experience measurement metric.

“It’s so much more than the food on the plate.  To be successful, hospitals need targeted services that understand the preferences and expectations of their specific patient population to drive outcomes.  In a Cura-managed location, our team includes someone specifically to focus on that.  The returns are far and away worth the time investment,” says TJ Alibrio, Managing Director of Growth.

Additionally, Cura uses the Studer Group principal for communication, AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, Thank You), which complements the AHNCARES model (Communicate, Acknowledge, Respond, Empathize, Solve). Using this type of communication tool enhances patient safety, mitigates patient fears, and improves the patient’s overall experience.

A PARTNERSHIP APPROACH

Cura’s partnership-focused approach has also resulted in leading patient satisfaction ratings for many of its clients, including the Allegheny Health Network (AHN), the Washington Health Network and St. Clair Health.  Cura aligns its Completely Satisfied Patient Experience Model with the goals of our hospitals, including AHN’s Operations Excellence Program.

 “Cura was selected by our organization because of its impressive track record of providing exceptional food and nutrition services in health care settings. The Cura team understands the preferences and expectations of our patients, staff, and guests – both in terms of nutrition and hospitable service, and their commitment to those values is critical to driving the highest levels of comfort and satisfaction among those we care for,” says Eugene Scioscia, MD, Allegheny Health Network’s Chief Patient Experience Officer.

Cura’s care for patients and guests has also been recognized by AHN’s RAVE, the “Recognized and Acknowledge Valued Employees” award. Cura’s team members were among the first non-AHN employees to receive the prestigious award that honors employees who provide exemplary care or service to a patient, a patient’s relative, friend, or fellow employee.   

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Cura is selected for its reputation in preparing fresh, healthy food and high-quality service. As one of the first healthcare food service providers in the U.S. to eliminate trans-fatty acids from its menus, Cura’s executive chefs strive to prepare the healthiest dining options possible. Cura teams also make substantial commitments to promoting healthier lifestyles through BeWell, a platform designed to educate and help guests make eating healthy the easy choice when they dine with Cura.

Cura’s team members also partner with the nursing staff to uplift patient spirits through quality food and personal service, while instilling feelings of community and contentment, which is vital for well-being. Keeping the patient properly nourished helps facilitate the healing process. We want to create a memorable dining experience for all patients!

“We liked the opportunity to partner with a local organization that has a strong passion for food and people. Their great reputation for high-quality food, patient satisfaction, and service complements our vision to be the regional health care system of choice for patients, physicians, and employees in Washington, PA, and surrounding counties,” says Brook Ward, Washington Hospital President and CEO.

HOSPITAL EFFICIENCIES

Back-of-the-house efficiencies also drive patient outcomes. For example, patient satisfaction surveys have always ranked St. Clair Health’s team members, under the management of Cura, with excellent customer service.  But a new way of serving food enhances the patient experience at St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, where the team successfully transitioned from a traditional tray line to a POD system.

Pods are self-contained multiple serving units that deconstruct the traditional tray line into several smaller units.  A dedicated team member works at each pod assembling trays for specific hospital units or floors.  “The pods give our concierges ownership and responsibility for their trays, improving the delivery of food to patients and enhancing the overall patient experience!  The staff has embraced and loves the new system,” says Emily Guidash, MS, RDN, LDN, general manager of dining.

RETAIL EXPERIENCE

Cura consults on many café designs to reflect current restaurant and culinary trends.  Most recently the Cura team was honored to lend their experience to the café located in AHN’s new Wexford Hospital.  Cura’s experience in operating onsite restaurants and knowledge of industry food trends shapes this new café into a destination eatery!

The cafe is also open to the Wexford Health and Wellness Pavilion where patients and staff can enjoy the Fifth Avenue Deli serving Boar’s Head delicatessen style meats, cheeses, and condiments, the City Grill, and Spoon and Fork.  The Chef’s Palate action station will also host local and ethnic chefs from around town who entertain our guests with live cooking demonstrations, bringing culturally inspired foods to the table.

RESPONDING TO COVID-19

As the pandemic continues to increase food safety, Cura supports its hospital clients with its own Covid-19 re-opening playbook, a guide detailing enhanced health and safety protocols amid new safety guidance from national health authorities. Everything, from implementing enhanced hygiene to safeguarding employees, staff, patients and guests, is addressed within in the guide.

Creating a safe haven in all Cura-managed cafes is essential to health providers and staff. To help ease the strain that medical providers are under due to the pandemic, Cura teams repurposed cafeterias into pop-up grocery markets to support their nutritional needs, providing a convenient food shopping experience for them.

Cura’s pop-up grocery stores were extremely popular at Punxsutawney Area Hospital‘s café in Punxsutawney, PA, and Indiana Regional Medical Center in Indiana, PA, where the teams had stocked both cafés with much-needed grocery and other essential staples!  These mini store helps to decrease the number of times hospital employees go into a public area for only one or two grocery items.

Katie Donald, recruitment/public relations specialist, pointed out that in the hospital’s current operating model, some employees find themselves doing things outside of their usual job descriptions. She added that with this being outside what is normally asked of the foodservice department, their efforts do not go unnoticed, as there is a great appreciation for creating this option!

At Marion General Hospital in Marion, IN, sales soared at their grocery market which supported healthcare workers with an abundance of “at cost” offerings including fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats; dairy, pasta, sauces, soups, cereals & assorted dry goods!  In just three weeks, sales topped $10,000!  Marion expanded using its mobile POS system to offer the market to the other Marion General Hospital satellite locations.  Customers will fax in their orders and the team will package for them in advance.  What’s convenient about the “Drive-Up, Pick Up” system is that healthcare employees will select the time for “pick up”, slide their badge for payment, while the team loads their orders in their vehicles!

This commitment to hospitality, as well as dining and nutrition excellence, helps identify Cura Hospitality as an organically strategic partner for many healthcare networks and community hospitals!