Newsplex - Martha Jefferson HealthWise - Headlines

Healthwise: Spoken Menu

By: Cheryn Stone Email
By: Cheryn Stone Email

June 30, 2010

Patients at Martha Jefferson Hospital are now offered a "spoken menu."

A dietary aide goes room to room at the hospital to take the order bedside and in person.

"The people who work in our department have enjoyed doing it more as they have gotten to speak more with the patients and build relationships," nutrition services coordinator Dave Stebbins said.

This replaces the old system, when a patient would have to fill out a form. Now, the aides use automated tablets.

"In general, they like the fact that they have a choice," Stebbins said. "It made our food scores go up, and we haven't changed the food because patients are now getting what they want versus what we send them."

The system can remember likes and dislikes, and it also tracks medical needs.

"It's helped to increase patient safety because we can now track allergies, likes and dislikes through the computer system, so they are automatically not offered foods that might harm them," Stebbins said.

Taking the dining orders in person not only results in happier meals, but it also allows for friendly interaction between hospital staff and patients -- which soothes a hunger, as well.

The comments sections of are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 97493359