Food management in hospitals is often a neglected poster child left as a low importance item in the list of priorities of a typical hospital manager. We need to buy new hi-tech equipment, improve clinical pathways, negotiate better with medication suppliers, improve utilisation of medical equipment, and a thousand other things, is what is on the daily task list of hospital directors. Food is not a priority, especially not in standard care hospitals. Food is considered a luxury at best, or a nuisance in most cases.
Coquus is a specialist company that helps hospitals improve food management. The area of work is sensitive, deals with a fiendishly complex logistics, and is often solved as a byproduct of companies mostly concerned with health information systems. Coquus is different because it specialises. This allows it to fully understand, how to manage food prescribing, sourcing, selection, comissioning, and thus contribute to a variety of aspects that are not achieved if the area is not observed properly.
The advantages of proper food management are plenty. The most obvious is better patient nutrition, and with it less days spent in hospital. This factor alone can be worth millions. The next gains are reduction spillage and waste, lower stock inventory, more variety in meals, special diets management like vegan, halal and others, observation of intollerances and allergies, better personalisation, higher satisfaction of patients, opportunity to offer more menus, and many more. One important aspect is prevention of malnutrition. Mr. Lázaro tells that costs of malnutrition, that worsen patients’ recovery, account for 1,8% of the health budget, Coquus helps shrink that. Further savings are in lowering of the cost due to waste, an estimated 3% of food cost can be expected. Then there are drastic savings in administration of the food chain.
Mr. Lázaro will be a speaker at the HealthDay.si 2019 conference, organised by the ecosystem that is managed by the Technology Park Ljubljana in close cooperation with European Connected Health Alliance. The reason for the invite is good cooperation between Cluster Saúde de Galicia and HealthDay.si, which was crowned by a Learning Expedition of Galicia to Slovenia and Serbia in June this year. In this trip the Slovenian organisers learnt that there’s a great food management company in the Galician ecosystem, that even employs artificial intelligence to further improve this area.
The participation of Mr. Lázaro in the conference will be joint by meetings with some of the leading hospitals, IT vendors and food service companies. Cluster Saúde de Galicia and HealthDay.si, both ecosystems within the ECHAlliance network, both aim to open up bridges of international cooperation, for Coquus and other members.