Electronic Meal Ordering Systems

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Electronic Meal Ordering Systems

Andrew Georgiou, Johanna Westbrook, Julie Li, Ling Li, Mirela Prgomet

Electronic meal ordering systems: an Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute for the NSW Ministry of Health, 2015.

In 2014, HealthShare NSW commenced the development of a new delivery model for patient food services. A set of nutrition standards for menus and specifications for therapeutic diets was developed by the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) to facilitate centralised menu planning and food production. These standards form part of a broader framework to improve nutritional care in NSW hospitals, including reform to the current paper-based meal ordering system with implementation of electronic meal ordering. The electronic meal ordering system is expected to produce multiple benefits for organisations and patients.

A request was made by the Workforce Planning and Development Branch, at the NSW Ministry of Health, to undertake a literature scan to identify and summarise current evidence regarding electronic meal ordering systems in order to inform the planning and evaluation of the NSW meal ordering system reforms. This report presents findings from an evidence scan of literature, from Australia and internationally, on electronic meal ordering system reforms and their associated impacts on hospital and patient outcomes. The period of the review spanned 15 years, from January 2000 to December 2015.

The objectives addressed by the review were to:

  • Describe the types of electronic meal ordering systems and food service reforms related to the introduction of electronic meal ordering systems that have been reported in the literature
  • Describe any nutritional screening and risk assessment protocols implemented alongside electronic meal ordering systems
  • Present evidence of the impact of electronic meal ordering systems on patient outcomes and on implications for staff, and
  • Discuss considerations for future evaluations of electronic meal ordering systems based on the evidence identified in the literature.

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