food service

Hospital Stops Serving Food

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MORGANTOWN, NC – North Carolina Christian Medical Center (NCCMC) in northwestern NC proudly announces landmark cost-cutting steps projected to save millions of dollars and generate millions more.  This week, NCCMC CEO Laurel Lamprey announced major permanent restructuring of the hospital services and staff.

Beginning May 1, 2015, NCCMC will close its food service department and restrict all food and nourishments from the premises.  These revenue-generating steps, say Lamprey, are designed “to impact patient care and employee satisfaction due to years of patient and staff complaints, and plummeting Press Ganey scores regarding cafeteria food and dietary dissatisfaction.”

Key hospital administrators along with the current Board of Trustees predict improvements on multiple levels.  According to hospital CFO Sharon Houseman, the hospital spends in excess of $1.2 million annually on food service for patients, staff, and guests and only recovers approximately $200,000 each year.  Cutting the food service department will net an additional one million dollars annually which can be spent on administrators’ cost of living increases and reward bonuses.  And, because NCCMC will be a food-free facility, it is estimated that key personnel will only work half days thereby reducing office space and non-productive meetings.  Unused offices will be renovated into more bed space for customers and a state-of-the-art all inclusive spa for hospital administrators.

From a healthcare and patient perspective, NCCMC predicts quicker patient turn-around times lending to more admissions with speedier discharges.  “After all” quotes Lamprey, “those people are gonna get hungry and will be begging for a speedy discharge.”  Many hospitals are criticized for discharging patients before they are actually ready.

“There are numerous advantages for a food-free facility besides therapeutic fasting,” states Lamprey.  They are:

  • No need for confusing NPO orders any more.
  • No need for gastric suction procedures.
  • No need for special diabetic or confusing cardiac heart healthy diet regimes.
  • No more patient complaints about food quality.
  • No more risky feeding of stroke patients.
  • No more worrying about food allergies and intolerances.
  • No more family members staying for long periods of time and directing patient care.
  • No more nurses eating at their workstations and violating Joint Commission regulations.
  • No more nursing license revocation for delivering the wrong sandwich selection to patients.
  • No more expensive and dangerous hypoglycemic medicine needed.
  • No more costly laundry expenses due to feces soiled linen.

From an employee perspective, “This is good news,” says Lamprey.  “We expect staff satisfaction scores to skyrocket.”  Nurses, for instance are required by law to have a break during a twelve-hour shift and now that they won’t be eating, they will be urged to quietly meditate and pray for the duration of their twenty-minute lunch.  Meditation is known to calm the spirit and soothe the soul.  And, other staff members in environmental services, maintenance, police, and clerical will only be required to work half days freeing them up to enjoy an expanded personal life.

Since staff will only be working part time, millions will be saved on costly benefits and health insurance.  Those employees who continue to receive health insurance will see immediate benefits beginning with personal weight loss.  “Why, the dismissal of our 47 overpaid food service workers alone will save the hospital a combined $76,000 annually,” exclaims Lamprey.  Next to administrators’ salaries, employee wages drive the exorbitant and unsustainable costs of healthcare.  Lamprey alluded to additional liberating and cost-saving cuts in other departments in the near future.

Lamprey sums up this bold and innovative step with, “There’s just no place for food in the business of healthcare.  If people want food, they can always go home or go to a restaurant.  We are in the business of business, not in the restaurant business.”

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  • Josie Rose RN

    Josie Rose RN has been a practicing nurse and healthcare investigative reporter for decades. She is intimately familiar with every aspect of the business of healthcare. Nurse Rose is your trusted source for medical truth and justice. If you are a physician, healthcare administrator, or supervisor, and engage in questionable activities, Nurse Rose will sniff you out and hunt you down like Florence Nightingale’s biting dog “Cap” to expose the truth.

  • Show Comments

  • Avatar
    Scott Stiller

    NC CMC? Sounds about right. Great satire!

  • Avatar
    Beth Hughes Ross

    Ours does too, but we don’t have any coffee shop or anywhere to go to for dinner. We always wind up ordering out

  • Avatar
    Meagen Grant

    Kathleen Bietler-Teets, you do understand the definition of “satire” and realize this article is exactly that?

    Watch your step down off of ye ol’ proverbial soapbox.

  • Avatar
    Kathleen Bietler-Teets

    This is one of the damn dumbest things I’ve ever heard. That’s their answer to “constant food complaints”? Gee, instead of making the food BETTER, we’ll just get rid of it and save us money? Yet, their taking the area that the cafeteria was in and adding a spa for the administrators? Gee, that sounds super. I’ll bet the administrators will be having their lunch sent in. And not to mention that nutrition is directly linked to the healing process. What a bunch of idiots.

  • Avatar
    Melanie Simmons Zarecor

    Made me laugh

  • Avatar
    Candy Gehm Carter

    Let ’em call Domino’s for delivery. Or do like third world hospitals: family has to provide patient’s food, linens and some meds!

  • Avatar
    David Corbett

    Be fine with me. might cut down on our ER admissions to boot!

  • Avatar
    Justin Hamlin

    OMG, this!
    I was seeing a pt in ER once who had intractable N/V. We were trying to decide if he had an SBO. When I went back to check on him, his entire extended family were all sitting around him eating Chile’s takeout. What is wrong with people? And why don’t we have a mean, crusty, old school nurse to throw these people out and only allow one visitor at a time?

  • Avatar
    Justin Hamlin

    Thank you, Helpy Helperton!

  • Avatar
    Justin Hamlin

    Both hospitals I work at close their cafeterias all weekend. Of course, the overpriced coffee shop happens to stay open and serve overpriced food all weekend at one of them.

  • Avatar
    Louise Van Geersdaele

    Basically all boils down to money..,

  • Avatar
    Steven Johner

    Patients will probably heal faster.

  • Avatar
    Jane Spurrier Brock

    We had a 4 star chef at the hospital where I studied nursing. The food was wonderful!

  • Avatar
    Ali Timmons Enochs

    We have a mental health unit and when those pt’s are admitted through ER, all they want are their sandwiches. Of course this unit is a big money maker for the facility so I don’t see is doing this anytime soon

  • Avatar
    Mary Angelynn Morgan

    Stuart Bell has hit the nail squarely on the head. Ice cream sundae for you! Lol.

  • Avatar
    Dave Lovell

    One downside to this is that all those hospital “chefs” will find other employment at Federal/state prisons and county jails, thereby greatly increasing the risk of prison riots.

  • Avatar
    Robin Fahringer Mitchell Machajewski

    I’ll bet they paid a consulting firm about $500K to “assess” the situation and come to that conclusion – at least, that’s how it’s done where I work! ;-)

  • Avatar
    Robin Fahringer Mitchell Machajewski

    LOL! I call it “Burger King Medicine”! “Have it your way”! I totally get this, honey! I’ve had the same idea, but instead of vending machines, it’s menus and we all wear little paper hats. ;-)

  • Avatar
    Ali Dennis

    Hahaha

  • Avatar
    Stuart Bell

    I hope everyone realizes this is a fake article from an Onion type blog!!!

  • Avatar
    Patty Ellis

    Our “hospital” cut food service down to the bare bones. No dinner service (the patients do get “fed”). Open for lunch 1130-130 then that’s it, and the staff goes home about 530, so even if you have a new pt in the ER that needs a tray, they are stuck with a dry turkey sandwich. Pathetic!

  • Avatar
    Diane Johnson-Barefoot

    Don’t laugh our hospital cafeteria closes at 1 on Sat and Sun. No food for visitors or staff after that time….patients still get fed

  • Avatar
    Colin Wilson

    I love seeing food bits in the suction container

  • Avatar
    Colin Wilson

    I love seeing food bits in the suction container

  • Avatar
    Marilyn Smith

    What????? No food in the physician’s lounge!!!! Too funny. You nailed this one.

  • Avatar
    Christi Hobbs

    Yeah, it’s not like they, being the patient or the family, ever abide by that pesky npo order anyways, huh.

  • Avatar
    Christi Hobbs

    Yeah, it’s not like they, being the patient or the family, ever abide by that pesky npo order anyways, huh.

  • Avatar
    Lisa Cantrell

    Darren- Krystal Renz

  • Avatar
    Christi Hobbs

    I just got off work in the ICU. Obviously a rough shift lol

  • Avatar
    Christi Hobbs

    I just got off work in the ICU. Obviously a rough shift lol

  • Avatar
    Julie Hamilton Lawing

    I don’t know you but I like you. This makes perfect sense to me.

  • Avatar
    Julie Hamilton Lawing

    I don’t know you but I like you. This makes perfect sense to me.

  • Avatar
    Nancy Daly

    I love it-by getting rid of the 47 food service employees they will save $76,000 annually!

  • Avatar
    Melanie Melton

    Makes sense.

  • Avatar
    Christi Hobbs

    The patients and families already think they know more than the doctors, the nurses never know what they’re doing, they always get pissed when lab shows up and they argue about whether they actually need the lab work done, and the food, and everything and everyone, pretty much sucks so I say just do away with all employees, including docs and nurses, and implement a vending machine type dispensary where they can pick whatever meds, procedures, etc that they want, they can pick their own diagnosis, then the hospitals, docs and nurses won’t have to pay for malpractice insurance and there will be no lawsuits, or complaints, because the patient, who knows best, can do what they want and ultimately be held accountable to only themselves. That seems to be what they want anyways, minus the self accountability part, but life isn’t fair and you can’t always get everything you want, but this way it’s pretty close, huh

  • Avatar
    Christi Hobbs

    The patients and families already think they know more than the doctors, the nurses never know what they’re doing, they always get pissed when lab shows up and they argue about whether they actually need the lab work done, and the food, and everything and everyone, pretty much sucks so I say just do away with all employees, including docs and nurses, and implement a vending machine type dispensary where they can pick whatever meds, procedures, etc that they want, they can pick their own diagnosis, then the hospitals, docs and nurses won’t have to pay for malpractice insurance and there will be no lawsuits, or complaints, because the patient, who knows best, can do what they want and ultimately be held accountable to only themselves. That seems to be what they want anyways, minus the self accountability part, but life isn’t fair and you can’t always get everything you want, but this way it’s pretty close, huh

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Ellis

    There is a high school with open lunch periods next to our hospital. Our cafeteria revenues are through the roof. No matter how disrespectful and how much table space they take up, the hospital doesn’t kick them out because they make too much money. It’s really fun!

  • Avatar
    Christine Ouellette

    a lot of places already have outside vendors in place from the big chain restaurants, why not

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Gone

    Lol

  • Avatar
    Sue Kasen

    Not a good idea. The administrators would like it though due to the spa. lol

  • Avatar
    Scott-Dewan Carmack

    They sneak their own food in anyway!

  • Avatar
    Victor Gabay

    Having been a patient in the hospital, and having eaten hospital food, I think that this might not be a bad idea at all…

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