One such idea came from a SICU nurse last year, who shared with me her concerns about the length of time it took for her to get a meal in the dining room because of the long lines at the cashier, and that she barely had enough time to pick out something and eat it before she was due back on the unit taking care of patients. The cafeteria management team got on it and installed faster cash registers and added new lines at peak times.
Now we have the opportunity to shave a few more seconds off the process by offering a payroll deduction option. Swiping your ID completes the transaction in about one second! Employees can fill out a form, available in the dining room, and within days they will be approved. I’ve signed up and encourage our employees to do the same.
This is just one of several improvements we’ve made recently in the dining room – we’ve come a long way toward making the dining experience more enjoyable for our guests and staff. There are new menu items, combo meals, and sauté specials; we’ve increased the selection of healthy foods and beverages and are now offering Dunkin' Donuts coffee. There is new furniture in the dining room, and paper menus have been converted to new electronic menu board monitors, which reduces the amount of paper, laminating sheets, sign holders and ink we would require to produce menus.
This week, new recycled fiber Earth-friendly trays were unveiled. Similar to the trays that many are familiar with from sports stadiums or concert venues, the trays are biodegradable and can be placed in regular trash when the customer is done eating. Believe it or not, this will help us save thousands of dollars a year!
Of the 3,000 traditional hard plastic trays that Dietary purchased last year, there are only a few hundred left. At almost $3 per tray, that’s a lot of money that literally just “walks away” every year when people take these trays from the dining room back to their work areas and don’t return them. So please remember – if you are talking “lunch to go”, take a new recyclable tray. It will help the earth and help us save money. Better yet, if you have just a sandwich and a drink, perhaps you can do without a tray to carry the meal back to your area.
|Mike Forthman, L, with an older-style tray, and Dr. John Chessare, R, with one of the new recyclable trays.|
Do you have any ideas on how GBMC can become a “greener” or “leaner” organization? Please share your thoughts below.
Finally, my heart goes out to the members of the GBMC family who were injured “in the line of duty” when they were assaulted by patients recently while providing care. The safety of our staff, patients, and visitors is of paramount concern. Unfortunately, incidents such as these are a problem across America’s healthcare system, with many studies reporting hundreds of healthcare workers being assaulted each month nationwide. In the past year-and-a-half, GBMC has implemented several strategies to make the environment as safe as possible, and in concert with our employees utilizing Safe Behaviors and following the designs for safety that have been set up, we are determined and committed to make our systems of care and our workplace safer. As a result of these attacks, we will again review our practices and policies and make changes to make GBMC safer.