Grant Application

Tom Hritz, PhD, RD, LDN of UPMC Mercy


Proposed Innovation

Hospital food and nutrition services play an important role in patient recovery, well-being, and satisfaction. At UPMC Mercy, the procedure has been for food service hosts and hostesses to print a paper rounding report several times a day with information on the patient’s diet order, allergies, ordered oral supplements, and food preferences. It is a highly time-consuming process that is subject to errors in providing patients with proper meal trays, particularly if changes are made between the times reports are printed.

This project aims to use tablet computers and new software to enhance meal service delivery and eliminate these issues. The overall goal is to improve patient safety as well as the overall patient experience.


Improvements in Action

Under the new system, food service hosts and hostesses will carry tablet computers with them and check for current orders at each point of contact with the patients. Eliminating the manual transfer of information will improve service and help ensure patients receive food that is compliant with their physicians’ orders.


Results – In Progress

Due to delays in accessing the necessary software, the team decided to design and develop a new interface system through UPMC Mercy’s in-house information technology (IT) department. The program is currently being piloted (January 2015) with an expected rollout to the rest of the hospital in the spring.