No hospital food jokes here
April 15, 1996
Web posted at: 12:30 a.m. EDT
BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Hospital patients don't usually look forward to mealtime but now in Boston, one hospital is treating their patients more like hotel guests And patients are enjoying the food now.
One recent afternoon cancer patient, Carmelita Hubbard felt like having dinner. She picked up her phone and ordered baked sea scallops. Not your typical hospital fare but the Dana Farber Cancer Institute is not your typical hospital.
Her menu request is faxed to the kitchen, handed to the chef, prepared right away and ready for delivery in less than thirty minutes.
"It's just like being in a hotel. They can start from seven o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock at night."
-- James Reynolds, the cancer center's chef
"It's just like being in a hotel," says says James Reynolds, the cancer center's chef. "They can start from seven o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock at night."(138K AIFF sound or 138K WAV sound)
Unlike most hospitals where patients must choose from a menu the night before and eat at a pre-set time the next day, the room service menu at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute gives the patients more control.
Letting patients order whatever they want to eat, whenever they want it seems to make a lot of sense, especially for people with cancer.
A survey done here at the hospital showed that patients ate an extra two to three hundred calories a day with this cook to order menu. Cancer patients often experience poor appetite and weight loss due to chemotherapy and other treatments.
"You can now have your chemotherapy, you know, and wait until your belly says, I can eat now. And you can pick up the phone and it may be two o'clock, and if your taste buds say, I want pancakes, you can get pancakes,"
-- Carmelita Hubbard, cancer patient
"You can now have your chemotherapy, you know, and wait until your belly says, I can eat now. And you can pick up the phone and it may be two o'clock, and if your taste buds say, I want pancakes, you can get pancakes," says Hubbard. (462K AIFF sound or 462K WAV sound)
"Nutrition is very important to help with their healing and feeling of well-being throughout the treatment," says Nancy Sablan of the cancer institute.
Offering food on demand seems like extra work but it actually saves the hospital money because there's a lot less waste. And for cancer patients with fickle appetites, a bit of pampering makes a stay in the hospital easier to swallow.
From Correspondent Liz Weiss
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