New Service Allows Cancer Patients to Dine on Demand

March 8, 2004 – Cancer patients often have limited appetites. A new dining program to be implemented on the north campus of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in late March will allow inpatients, including oncology patients at the Siteman Cancer Center, to eat what they want, when they want and as often as they want.

Starting March 24, the Dining on Call program will allow inpatients on the north campus to order meals by telephone at their convenience between 6:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., similar to room service at a hotel. "We hope to better meet patients' needs through Dining On Call," says Donna Paladin, director of food and nutrition services at the hospital. "So if they want a baked potato at 10 a.m. or scrambled eggs at 6 p.m., we can easily meet their needs."

Patients will receive a restaurant-style menu and will be directed to make a phone call to order a meal. "All patients will still be strictly monitored to ensure that they are eating and following diet restrictions," Paladin says. "The nursing staff will determine which patients can participate in the Dining On Call program. If patients are unable to participate, a food and nutrition representative will go to their room to personally take their order."

Barnes-Jewish Hospital will be one of only a handful of hospitals around the country -- and the only one in St. Louis -- to offer Dining On Call, a Morrisons Healthcare Food Services program, to this extent. The program is being implemented on the north campus at this time to better meet the needs of cancer patients.

Last updated 3/11/04