Food and Nutrition Services has seen their quality improvement journey bring results that were unheard of just a few years ago, helping to create a sustainable health care system.
“At the end of 2010, our cafeterias and Region-run cafes at Royal University Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and Saskatoon City Hospital reported a $750,000 loss,” says Nilesh Kavia, Vice President of Finance and Corporate Services for Saskatoon Health Region. “This meant retail operations were being subsidized by funds that could have been diverted to health care. Retail food in hospital settings is essential, but it needs to be profitable. Making our retail food services profitable means those funds can be redirected back into patient care areas, where it’s needed.”
Food and Nutrition Services started down a path to do just this.
“We developed an operational plan for our retail food operations that was sustainable, measureable, and it needed to be flexible,” says Dena Webb-Listwin, Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Saskatoon Health Region.
Their plan had everyone from front line staff and managers focusing daily on their goals to deliver the results.
“We set daily targets, and reviewed them on a weekly basis. We also focused on quality improvements in our inventory and waste management, marketing and customer feedback program, our customer service program, and in managing paid hours, so it really was across the board,” says Webb-Listwin. “It took a great team effort, and I’m so proud of our team for reaching this goal.”
The cafeterias posted their first year of profitability in 2014. But they didn’t stop there.
“Our forecast for 2016-17 is a three per cent profit, or approximately $211,000, compared to a 14% loss in 2010,” Kavia notes. “This is what happens when a fantastic team of people pulls together and focuses on solving a problem, allowing the Region to re-direct these funds back into patient care. I’m extremely proud of what Food and Nutrition Services has been able to do.”