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A good meal with the patient’s best interests in mind

“Hospital food” has always had a bad reputation. At least until 2018, when Coor created an entirely new concept for Karolinska University Hospital in Solna where the primary concern is the patient and the dining experience. “The food looks good, smells nice and tastes good” are some of the comments Coor has received.

What we eat has a big impact on our well­being and is an important part of the recovery process. The dining experience also strongly affects the patients’ perception of their stay at the hospital.

“The food looks good and tastes good,” says Birgitta Andersson, FM Controller at Karolinska University Hospital. “The primary focus really is on the patient; they get to choose food from a wide menu, decide when they want to eat and have a pleasant dining experience. The food is quite advanced and it is clear that those who prepare it take pride in doing so. For the patients, it makes a big difference being able to influence their meals.”

Every day, Signatur by Coor prepares and delivers 500 portions of food and other groceries to the 24 ward kitchens at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna. The assignment also includes meal hosts who heat up and serve up the food – every day, all year round. All portions served are nutritionally calculated and Coor has an administrative dietitian on site.

“I think the food is of high quality and tastes incredibly good,” Anette af Geijerstam, dietitian at Karolinska University Hospital, says. “Many patients are surprised the food at the hospital is so good. It is important for patients to eat well in order to get better.”

A common cause behind the poor quality of hospital food is insufficient collaboration between the meal delivery team and the wards.

“I feel that Signatur has a strong desire to do things in collaboration,” Anette af Geijerstam continues. “Karolinska University Hospital has extensive experience of what patients want and the Signatur staff are good at taking on board our knowledge. We design the menu together so that it suits the patients.”

Signatur by Coor is an entirely new concept for food in the public sector. The emphasis is on service and the actual dining experience – good, nutritious food combined with a high level of service. The food is prepared from scratch using fresh, largely Swedish and organic ingredients. Minimising the climate impact of the food is a requirement that Karolinska University Hospital was particularly clear about in its procurement.

“The fact that Signatur by Coor uses up to 50 per cent organic ingredients in the commercial kitchen is impressive. There is also a strong desire to reduce food waste,” Anette af Geijerstam says.

Each year, a major survey is conducted among patients about what they think of the food and meals at the hospital.

“I’ve looked at the responses to this year’s patient survey and was extremely happy when I saw them,” Birgitta Andersson says. “The results accurately reflect my own experience.”

“I think Signatur by Coor has really grown in its role,” Anette af Geijerstam concludes. “We enjoy working with Coor and our partnership is rewarding for all parties. I am proud of the work we are doing!”

Coor’s assignment

Signatur by Coor meets the hospital’s need for patient meals in Solna based on a comprehensive solution covering preparation, delivery and meal hosts. The focus is on creating a good dining experience based on the patients’ needs and as a means of helping them to recover.

About Karolinska University Hospital in Solna

Karolinska University Hospital in Solna is one of Europe’s largest hospitals. By offering safe, high-quality healthcare based on the best expertise, treatment methods and nursing, they ensure that patients receive personal attention and translate research, education and development into care. Here the focus is always on the patient.