Food quality and nutrition in aged care will be well and truly in the spotlight in the coming months as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety examines incidents of poor quality, sub-standard food served to residents.
Add to that the new Aged Care Quality Standards, which highlight nutrition as a key determinant of wellbeing, and it’s no surprise that food will play a big role in delivering dignity and choice to residents.
Reduced government funding and rising food costs are issues all providers face. But with increased choice, the ability to accurately track and cost food procurement will create even more hurdles.
Aged care chefs carry much of the burden of producing food that is not only nutritious and appealing, but manages the delicate and complex dietary needs of ageing residents, especially those with dysphagia who require special texture modified diets. Add in a layer of personal, cultural and dietary preferences and you can quickly see how tough it is to satisfy everyone’s needs.
Further complexity lies in providing a food service that is both efficient and cost-effective. Many facilities operate a catering service using a manual paper or spreadsheet-based system. These outdated methods cost facilities hundreds of hours^ and thousands of dollars^ in unnecessary administration. Moreover, manual menu management increases the risk of miscommunication between clinical, nursing and the kitchen, resulting in serious complications if residents are served the wrong texture or ingredient.
To be sustainable into the future, the aged care industry must find innovative ways to manage growing costs, while at the same time offer greater choice and control to residents.
Is this possible?
The future of aged care catering is already here
Smart technology can rapidly change the most labour intensive and costly parts of running an aged care business. Catering operations can be easily streamlined by digitising menu planning and costing. Critical resident dietary requirements and preferences can be shared between clinical, care and catering teams instantly, on tablet or mobile.
With new IDDSI standards set to launch in May this year, training and upskilling catering and care staff on the new standards will take time out of the kitchen and drain budget resources even further.
This is where technology can be a real game-changer, to help care organisations prepare for the new Standards and future proof their business for tomorrow.
SoupedUp is Australia’s leading catering software and online training provider to the aged care industry. Our proven technology solutions save facilities time and money, while reducing the risks associated with food service quality and delivery in an aged care setting. To learn more about SoupedUp’s solutions visit www.soupedup.com
^ Time and cost savings based on an aged care facility of 80-90 beds, including subscription fees. Source data based on average time and costs spent by 24 facilities switching from paper based system to SoupedUp Catering.