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Customer Testimonial - Heilig Hart Hospital Leuven

Higher patient satisfaction at Heilig Hart Hospital in Leuven with the C-Meal app

Key challenges

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Digitization of meal surveys

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Improvement of meal preparation workflow

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More space for personal approach from dieticians

Results

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Better patient experience, thanks to personal meal selection

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Greater patient satisfaction due to personal approach

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Time gained for staff

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Fewer surpluses

With 150 patients to feed per day, meal preparation at the Heilig Hart in Leuven takes some organizing. To eliminate the task of manually recording these meals, Heilig Hart joined with Cegeka to implement C-Meal. Not only is the new meal app system more efficient, it has brought benefits for the patients as well.

"We were one of the few hospitals where logistical staff and dieticians were still recording and counting up every meal," relates Project Leader Marie De Raedt. "And I mean that literally: dieticians kept a physical tally of each meal and passed that information on to the kitchen."

Loss of time with the old way of working

"Of course, this was a time-consuming task," adds dietician Silke Neels. "What’s more, the sheets were being reused, which was not the best solution when it came to hygiene. The operation wasn’t even logistically efficient: we were always running behind in the kitchen because we never knew exactly how many meals we had to process. In short: an outdated working method that was costing the logistical staff, the dieticians and the kitchen staff an unnecessary amount of time and effort."

“We were always running behind in the kitchen because we never knew exactly how many meals we had to process.”

Silke Neels, dietician at Heilig Hart Leuven

Implementation of C-Meal

"In June last year we decided to implement C-Meal in stages," continues Marie De Raedt. "We had actually wanted to do this 20 years ago, but back then we weren’t strong enough on the IT front. The implementation consisted of two parts. On the one hand, there is C-Meal itself, which allows dieticians to gather data from the patients. That information is then passed on to the kitchen in real time, a process which runs very smoothly. In the near future we also want to add allergen information to the app. We have not got to that yet, but the system is already equipped to handle it."

Better patient experiences with the patient app

"In addition, we implemented a patient app with which patients can select meals for themselves. That app is being gradually introduced. Coronavirus threw a spanner in the works for a while, because it prevented IT staff from attending the hospital in person to help support the implementation. So the process took longer than expected, but we managed it. We started with the maternity department. That was followed by the pediatric department and two surgical departments. Reactions from the patients have been very positive, so we want to bring the patient app in throughout the entire hospital later this year," says Marie De Raedt.

“Reactions from the patients have been very positive, so we want to bring the patient app in throughout the entire hospital later this year.”

Marie Deraedt, Project Leader at Heilig Hart Leuven

Personal guidance

"The biggest obstacle is the fact that not all patients are using the mynexuzhealth patient portal yet," Marie De Raedt continues. "So we first need to deploy that platform more widely, and then every patient will also automatically get access to the C-Meal meal options. We notice that patients find it easier to use mynexuzhealth if we can explain it on a one-to-one basis. We currently do this with the aid of volunteers, for example when patients take a COVID test or if they make a new appointment with the administration."

Time gained for staff

"For the staff, C-Meal is a big improvement," Silke Neels adds. "In the kitchen they now know exactly how many meals they have to prepare and the quantities of ingredients to order. That’s given the staff a huge amount of peace of mind. Organization in the kitchen runs more smoothly, the allotting of portions goes faster, the portions are passed on automatically, the dieticians no longer have to check everything, and the logistical staff no longer have to call on every patient. So everyone involved in mealtimes benefits from C-Meal. And there’s another advantage: less food is wasted. We have considerably lower surpluses both in the kitchen and for the patient."

“Everyone involved in mealtimes benefits from C-Meal. And there’s another advantage: we have considerably lower surpluses both in the kitchen and for the patient.”

Silke Neels, dietician at Heilig Hart Leuven

Linking with existing systems

"We have also been working with Horeco, a system that uploads technical sheets with ingredients, preparations and allergens. We were easily able to link that system to C-Meal. It’s only the allergen list that is not yet automatically uploaded to the app. That’s not down to the system, but to the suppliers of the products themselves. Once all that information is available, it will free up even more of our time. At present we have to add that information ourselves in the kitchen."

Better patient experience and greater satisfaction

"As well as the considerable time gains for the staff, the higher level of patient satisfaction is a major advantage of C-Meal," Silke Neels continues. "The dieticians have more time to spend with patients to ask them questions and give proper guidance. As a dietician, I can visit the department every day now, and the patients really appreciate that. Satisfaction levels are really high, both with the app and the mealtime service. You sometimes hear patients say that it is just like a hotel here. An acquaintance was a patient here recently, and he said he was really happy that dieticians came by to discuss the meal options. Before C-Meal, we had less time for that."

“You sometimes hear patients say that with C-Meal hospital is just like a hotel.”

Silke Neels, dietician at Heilig Hart Leuven

Process optimization, thanks to digitization

"Finally, C-Meal has created an additional advantage in that we have been able to improve a number of internal processes. The implementation of C-Meal called a lot our processes into question by necessity, and we used this as an opportunity to simplify the entire flow. The hospital as a whole is also aiming for increasing digitization, and C-Meal fits in perfectly with that strategy. Implementation was therefore an immediate hit, and we want to progress further along this path in the future."

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