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Poster Abstracts

Creating Better Meals Options for Patients - co-design


Valentina Constantinescu ,

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, CA
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Helene Hamilton

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In 2018, the results of the patient satisfaction survey revealed that food quality and food choices had the lowest score than other areas of care. When this was brought up to the Patient and Family Advisory Council, the group decided that something needed to be done.

Through the engagement of the Patient and Family Advisory team alongside dietary services department, consideration of food preference, dietary restrictions and needs, and time and effort of hospitality staff was taken into place to create efficient meal plans options.

Aims Objectives Theory or Methods

Many studies indicate that food is essential to the healing process both physically and mentally. However, taste and preference of food greatly varies between households, ethnicities, dietary restrictions, and religious beliefs. Although food brings nutritional value, it also brings spiritual value which further helps our healing journey. After a great number of interviews and surveys done, the dietary department understood that listening to patient voice is crucially important to make changes that matters. To encompass all these values, the dietary department took into consideration the patient voice as it incorporates diversity perspectives and would allow some insight on what food.

Highlights or Results or Key Findings

‘Your Choice, Your Voice’ was born and incorporates patient and family’s needs and suggestions to change, adjust and alter meal plan options to best suit the patients’ needs and encourage healing and recovery. This new meal plan program put forth changes which allow for more food options for patients, easier accessibility of food during mealtime, and sustainable and eco-friendly food or packaging. These changes have greatly improved the patient satisfaction score on the patient care survey. Additionally, Helen Van deMark, Director of Patient Food Services and Clinical Nutrition, says patient food and fluid intake has increased significantly since the program started in 2019, including a 50% jump in protein at breakfast. Additionally, the program caters to individual needs through sustainable measures by asking for patient preferences beforehand and providing the service in an eco-friendly manner, limiting the amount of plastic consumed and food wasted.



We believe this is only the beginning. Our work together will continue and the result to date serve as a testimony that co-design is the answer to making our programs stronger and more successful.

Additionally, the program caters to individual needs through sustainable measures by asking for patient preferences beforehand.

Implications for applicability/transferability sustainability and limitations

Amongst others, Hélène Hamilton, a ten-year volunteer and long-term patient at St. Joes said “Being able to have choices about even basic issues, coffee or tea, an apple or a banana, a muffin for later in the day … makes a huge difference in the world of a patient"

How to Cite: Constantinescu V, Hamilton H. Creating Better Meals Options for Patients - co-design. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S2):208. DOI:
Published on 16 May 2022.


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