Hospitals entice patients with better food service

Most consumers assume hospital meals will be bad--right up there with airline food. And in the past, that's usually what they got. But increasingly, as hospitals work to please consumers with hotel- and retail-style amenities, hospital food is going upscale. Over the past several years, hospitals have begun offering a "liberalized" diet, giving patients the option to eat what they want.

These new offerings are built with the idea that patients are more likely to stick with a dietary regimen if it bears some resemblance to what they usually eat. Some hospitals actually give patients the ability to order anything in the cafeteria (as long as it's OK with their doctor). Food services also are adding gourmet-style items like panini sandwiches and tortellini. Some are even having the food delivered by workers dressed like waiters in a nice restaurant rather than a hospital orderly. Some hospitals will not be able to take this approach for a while, however, as it can take a remake of the kitchen from a "tray line" model to a restaurant-style serving arrangement.

To find out more about this trend:
- read this article from The Business Review

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