Communication, Coordination, and Collaboration of Physician, Nutritionist-dietitian, and Patient for Satisfactory Hospital Foods

Communication, Coordination, and Collaboration of Physician, Nutritionist-dietitian, and Patient for Satisfactory Hospital Foods

Last April 28, 2012, when I visited a patient of mine in Manila Doctors Hospital 3rd Floor Wing C, she voiced out concerns on the foods being served to her, such as why this and that kind of foods being served to her, issues on consistency and palatability of foods, etc.  I immediately asked the staff nurse of Wing C to request a nutritionist-dietitian to come over to the room so that the three of us, the patient, nutritionist-dietitian, and I, could address the patient’s concerns right away.  Ms. Leah Escabarte was on duty at that time and responded to my request.  I thanked her for the quick response.  I also thanked her for handling my patient’s concerns very professionally.

On April 30, 2012, a day prior to her discharge, my patient expressed satisfaction with the accommodation and adjustments made by Ms. Escabarte on her diet.  Kudos to Ms. Leah Escabarte.

Insights that I got from this incident:

1. Every patient, or every person for that matter, has individual preferences over the type and quality of foods he/she wants to eat.  I should be reminded of this whenever I prescribe the diet of my patients when they are in the hospital.

2. Manila Doctors Hospital is a hospital that considers the preferences of its patients when it comes to foods as long as there is no prescribed restriction from their attending physicians.  The patients are encouraged to signify their preferences on admission and during their stay in the hospital.  It is just a matter of communication between the patients and the dietary services to be facilitated by their attending physicians and nurses.

3. As the attending physician, from now on, I will make it a point to ask all my patients on “diet as tolerated” or “full diet” how they find their the foods being served by the hospital.  If there are concerns, I will not hesitate to facilitate a discussion between my patients and the nutritionist-dietitians of the hospital.   I will also ask all nurses and nutritionist-dietitians attending to my patients to also regularly check for any concerns on the foods being provided by the hospital.

Note: In April 20, 2012, in my desire to help her eat well to promote recovery from her operation, I brought her pancit and another viand with egg white and sea cucumber, which she appreciated. 

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