From the blog of Dr. John Chessare, CEO of Greater Baltimore Medical Center:
One of the most important things I can do as the head of GBMC HealthCare is listen – not only to our patients, but to our staff as well. Our internal customers represent an important constituency and often have excellent ideas that will help us improve as an organization.
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.
In addition to the electronic menus, there are a number of other zero waste initiatives recently completed in the dining room. We’ve converted condiment packets to Heinz-branded pumps, introduced a coffee creamer pump, converted all medical intern / resident pink meal vouchers into reloadable cards, and are composting kitchen waste at a local facility and not placing with municipal waste.
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.|
Kudos to our “Green Team”, led by Mike Forthman, Vice President of Facilities and Support Services and to the Dietary team led by Matt Tresansky, Director of Food and Nutrition Services and Ryan O’Hara, the dining room’s retail manager, for implementing these changes which are designed to reduce waste, shrinkage, and cost while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. Be on the lookout for more improvements planned for the near future!