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MatrixCare is Modernizing Dining Software Communication

Providing an appropriate diet to a resident is key to support health and wellness in your dining program. A Diet Order is an important part of the medical nutrition therapy given at any care facility. When residents eat well they maintain their health, improving outcomes. Driving an accurate Diet Order between care teams can be the key to this success for facilities in maintaining nutritional balance. Communication of the Diet Order must be clear and accurate to meet the nutritional needs of the resident. As the industry continues to evolve in the electronic health realm, both nursing and dietary teams may need to modernize to support appropriate diet order transmittal.

Computerized Food and Nutrition software systems used by dietetic professionals providing meals to residents typically work independently from an electronic health record system. The communication from the medical record to dietary departments has historically been a paper-driven process forcing manual Diet Order entry into the kitchen software.

The process requires structured parameters of the entry of the order in the medical record by nursing team members. The identification of each parameter of a Diet Order including Therapeutic type, Fluid Consistency, and Food Consistency is an example of this structured diet order. This eliminates risk for items being provided not honoring physician order. Dining software serving the LTPAC industry has struggled to be able to accurately acknowledge the transmittal of Diet Orders until now. When choosing your dietary software, question the availability of this functionality.

An individual Diet Order must be specific (including combination restrictions such as low salt, low fat) to identify the nutritional needs to be met. MealTracker honors that one complete structured Diet Order at any given time for the treatment for a disease or clinical condition, eliminate, decrease or increase certain food, or provide mechanically altered consistencies when indicated. The functionality of MealTracker supports the custom order library at each facility so these nutritional needs can be met. In practice, one given complete Diet Order is permissible in the medical record and MealTracker supports just that for continuity of care. The groundbreaking interface available between MatrixCare systems alone eliminates manual data entry on the dietary side in conjunction with our goal to provide efficient continuity of care and support the unified medical record for each resident.

A claim of Diet Order interfaces between medical record system and dietary software programs should be clearly vetted when choosing both your EMR and Nutrition software. Poor attempts to send diet orders from nursing to dietary, even owned by the same company, simply display the order in the program (like a message) to compare and force the user to manually process into the dietary software. Additionally, there may be a fee for this simple message transmittal. This does NOT support the one order, one medical record continuum of care integration like MatrixCare has!

Unlike other systems, diet order transmittals are included in and only available between MatrixCare systems and MealTracker.


“A Therapeutic diet or combination of such provides nutrition intervention based on nutrition assessment that addresses an identified disease, clinical condition, or nutrition diagnosis by providing the specific nutritional requirements.”

  • MDS 3.0 RAI Manual, Chapter 3, Section K: Swallowing/ Nutritional Status http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/QualityInitiatives-Patient-AssessmentInstruments/NursingHomeQualityInits/MDS30RA IManual.html.

“Therapeutic diet” refers to a diet ordered by a health care practitioner as part of the treatment for a disease or clinical condition, to eliminate, decrease, or increase certain substances in the diet (e.g., sodium or potassium), or to provide mechanically altered food when indicated.

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Amy Wooton

Amy Wooton, RDN, is a registered dietitian licensed in the state of Florida with over 18 years of experience in clinical nutrition leadership for senior communities as well as acute care, food service management, nutrition informatics, and wellness education. Amy is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was appointed Vice Chair on the Interoperability and Standards Committee, and is the leader of the Academy’s Nutrition Care Process Workgroup. Amy most recently accepted a Leadership Award from the Florida Academy of Dietetics. She has achieved years of diversified experience in all spectrums and disease improvement and prevention throughout each lifespan. Amy is a dedicated leader and is passionate about the success of nutrition interventions as an electronic solution to healthcare crises.

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