The Arbors, a five-star rated Medicare facility, in Amarillo, TX uses MatrixCare MealTracker for their nutrition management system. You could call Bernadette Townsend, The Arbors’ Dietary Manager, one of MealTracker’s most loyal users considering she has used MealTracker for almost 20 years. “I only worked with one other dietary management software in the past,” said Townsend. “After working with it, and trying to make it do what I needed it to do for a month, I pleaded to the Administrator to let me have MealTracker. And the rest is history!”
MatrixCare® MealTracker® is the superior nutrition management solution that enables care settings to efficiently manage menu planning and daily food production processes. With food costs being one of the top expenses for providers today, more than 2,000+ facilities across the country use MealTracker to reduce food cost and waste, increase efficiency, and improve outcomes.
“MealTracker is a quality system and serves the skilled nursing industry well,” stated Townsend. “You can design and finesse it to fit any facility, practically a morphing instrument to any need you have.”
Because of this customization and flexibility, Townsend finds the Menus feature one of the top things that MealTracker does well. “Building and adjusting menus is easy and can be customized for different seasons/cycles,” Townsend commented. MealTracker comes with two complete menu cycles, but more can be added as needed or desired by the facility. Townsend added, “You can copy your Fall and Winter menu and insert any special meals for the holidays celebrated in your facility and Voila…It is done! This is much easier than recreating the entire menu in order to change a few meals.” Other menu customizations include adding different diets. “We currently have 18 different diets, but our sister facility only needs four,” stated Townsend. “Building your own menus with your diets means the control is in your hands, not someone else’s.”
In addition, dietary managers can add Category and Item Notes in the Resident Profile which shows up on the menu portion of the resident’s tray ticket. These notes are important to inform staff of any necessary equipment or precautions to be taken with certain items of the menu when served to the resident. “The notes are completely customizable and work well to tell the staff things like attention to allergies, serve this meal on a divided plate, this resident wants his sandwich on wheat bread, this item is by physician’s order, or this resident is on Isolation Precautions,” explained Townsend. “As a matter of fact, I have a note I use for residents on a low fat diet who really want bacon with breakfast. The note simply says ‘Educated – Enjoy!'”
Patient profiles are also at the top of Townsend’s list. “Back in the day, we used to use the tray card system,” explained Townsend. “MealTracker is such a better system to manage our nutritional services and ensure resident satisfaction.
One of the ways MealTracker helps me is by being able to customize preferences for each resident by adding individual food items and/or food groups to dislikes, as well as Special Requests to the Resident Profile. They are simple to enter and you never have to worry about forgetting them. Even better, your resident will get an alternative item they prefer.” Townsend went on to highlight this feature by saying, “The Snack Stickers are very important to the entire staff. We had a resident who wanted a pimento cheese sandwich every night. We simply added that particular item to her Snacks in her profile and it prints out a sticker telling the nursing staff who the resident is, what room they are in, and what snack is requested.”
Other features of the system Townsend finds valuable include the Production sheets. Production sheets are daily reports by meal and prep area that are available to dietary staff to show exactly what is needed. “They are fantastic!” expressed Townsend. “It keeps production closer to the needs of the facility and is much more accurate than ballpark figures. The sheets also include all the special requests and they are on the tray line when we begin.” Another feature of the Product Sheets that Townsend finds beneficial is the ample space to add Prep Notes. “Being able to add customizable notes so the staff knows what to pull from the freezer, what needs to be prepared for tomorrow, and any chopping, dicing, or slicing of vegetables required is very efficient,” said Townsend.
“Staff no longer has to ask on a daily basis what needs to be done because you type it one time and it will print out each time. This opens up your time to do more important things.”
Not only does Townsend think MealTracker has superior product features, but she also applauds the Customer Service & Tech Support. “I love the support and consultation we receive with MealTracker.” stated Townsend. “We have had a great experience with the seasoned support staff. Many have been there the whole time that I have used MealTracker, and that speaks well for the company. My issue is always resolved very quickly.”
“I would definitely recommend MealTracker to anyone,” said Townsend. “I am a huge fan of MealTracker, and even as our facility goes through changes, I know that MealTracker will be with us. It’s a darn good tool for the Dietary Department!”
- Not user-friendly
- Not efficient
- Innovative, flexible and intuitive system
- Time savings for staff
- Supports person-centered care