In this episode of the Post-Acute POV, our host, Amy Wootton, RDN, Director of Nutrition, is joined by Dawn Elliott, Director of Dining Services, and Tracy Fluhr, Clinical Resource Specialist, at Nazareth Home. The trio have a conversation on how to improve menu planning by streamlining operations to offer meals that are nutritious, medically appropriate, and enjoyable while balancing rising food costs and ongoing staffing shortages.
Join Dawn, Tracy, and Amy as they discuss how technology can improve menu planning, how to change recipes to maximize nutrition, and how menu services can help your organization improve efficiency and meet regulatory requirements. This episode will cover how MealTracker can help consistently provide meals that meet each resident’s specific requirements while also helping your team work more efficiently. Listen in as they discuss important aspects to any nutrition program including recipe scaling, nutrition analysis, and menus created by registered dietitians.
Topics discussed during today’s episode:
- [00:35 – 06:41]: Amy introduces Dawn and Tracy from Nazareth Home and explains how technology has been advancing to improve menu planning, manage production details, and help users produce high-quality meals.
- [06:41 – 12:54]: Amy shares how a facility’s dining program can be a pivotal differentiator among senior living, skilled nursing, and life plan communities and details some of the results from our 2022 dining survey.
- [12:54 – 16:18]: Amy goes on to mention some of the latest advancements in technology related to resident dining.
- [16:18 – 24:40]: Amy shares the importance of menu flexibility and how a nutrition management tool can help improve this essential process.
- [25:12 – 26:27]: Dawn and Tracy explain the biggest challenges they experienced in their organizations’ dining operations and what techniques they began incorporating to help solve these roadblocks.
- [26:32 – 27:40]: Tracy shares how MealTracker has helped Nazareth’s overall dining operations and how MatrixCare has helped their organization with customer satisfaction.
- [27:40 – 30:07]: Dawn and Tracy share how their outcomes have improved both clinically and operationally.
- [30:07 – 33:06]: Amy leads a Q and A with the audience from the original webinar. Hear about the typical implementation time for MealTracker, our customer support, and how MealTracker integrates with the rest of the MatrixCare suite of solutions.
- Get more information on MealTracker: https://www.matrixcare.com/nutrition-management/
- Find out more about Nazareth Home: https://www.nazhome.org/
- Listen to more episodes of the Post-Acute POV
The content in this presentation or materials is for informational purposes only and is provided “as-is.” Information and views expressed herein, may change without notice. We encourage you to seek as appropriate, regulatory and legal advice on any of the matters covered in this presentation or materials.
©2023 by MatrixCare
Hi, and welcome to the Post-Acute Point of View, our discussion hub for healthcare technology in the out-of-hospital space. Here, we talk about the latest news and views on trends and innovation that can impact the way post-acute care providers work, and we take a look at how technology can make a difference in today’s changing healthcare landscape in both home-based and facility-based care organizations and the lives of the people they serve. Today we hear from Amy Wootton, Director of Nutrition Management at Matrix Care and her special guest. Let’s dive in.
Welcome to our webinar today for better controlling dining costs with menu planning tools. We’ll highlight the benefits of using technology such as MealTracker in your operations. Juggling food prices is in our everyday lives, even in the grocery store. I’m sure you’re feeling that pressure. Avoiding waste of food may not be as simple as it seems. One study found 460 pounds of food on average is wasted in long-term care. This year, we’re also facing another challenge of food inflation which is predicted at 8% increase this year. With this crisis, leaving dollars on the plate is really not going to cut it. Every morsel is going to count. My name is Amy Wootton. I’m the Director of Nutrition at Matrix Care running the MealTracker solution. I have guest speakers today, our customers, Dawn Elliot, Director of Dining Services, and Tracy Floor, Clinical Resource Specialist Nurse from the Nazareth Home.
The Nazareth Home is located in Louisville, Kentucky, operating long-term memory and personal care as well as recovery to home assisted. Both of their facilities are five star rated, won best short-term and long-term nursing home awards from the US World News Report in 2022. Welcome and thank you, Dawn and Tracy, and I appreciate you taking your time today, and we’ll ask you some questions later on in the session. Again, thanks for joining. Our agenda today, we’re going to understand the impact technology has when it comes to menu planning, look to some new trends that are out there in dining operations. We’re going to see how we can maximize nutrition while considering the cost of ingredients and we’re going to improve efficiency or ideas to improve efficiency and meet regulatory requirements. Let’s begin with looking in the impact of technology and what it can have when it comes to menu planning, managing production details and increasing our customers’ satisfaction.
Technology has been advancing more and more to improve menu planning, manage production details, and help you produce quality meals. You can now benefit from superior workflow, saving staff valuable time and effort, an all-in-one solution for managing dining operations menus, recipes and production details and even have maybe a corporate module. Additionally, better outcomes come with that, both clinically and operationally. You can help control your food cost, improve intake, and even nutrition needs be met. Let’s not forget resident safety and diet and allergy compliance features that lead to higher customer satisfaction like ease of obtaining resident preferences and detailed profile management are very important and available as well as valuable integrations that offer discreet data exchange with not only the medical record but with food vendors and nutrient resources. By using the latest improvements in technology, you’ll improve dining and menu planning strategies, a nutrition management software program that allows you flexibility to customize and is easy to use.
This also allows you to build and adjust dietary options around individual resident needs, allows facilities to provide the highest level of person-centered care. Additionally, having order guides from your purveyor to partner with the menu system like MealTracker allows you visibility in managing operations and making appropriate menu changes. According to our 2022 dining survey, managing special dietary needs was one of the top priorities for our operators. Managers and RDs feel their dining program is more successful when focused on the therapeutic diet restrictions of their clients. The menu needs to ideally be built across special diets and consistencies, match maybe a pre-approved diet list. The diet should also communicate with your medical record through integrations. You should be able to have select menu screens for users to have no question on what to offer that match up to those special diets and you should also be able to have direct access to nutrient details.
Another key priority from our survey response was to help operators reduce waste, save time and staff efficiency. Having exact production detail reports will no doubt save your food dollars and staff time. Production sheets, food item usage reports, scaled recipes, and many other tools help dining operators be successful. Overproduction of even 10% costs a facility an average of $15,000 per year, one study found. That’s a lot, leaving it on the plate.
Technology that provides recipes that can be auto-scaled to census, match your menu and provide nutrient details as well as instructions for special diets like the new IDDSI standards, International Dysphagia Diet Standards Initiative. Those are all important to have ready on hand and easy for your staff to use. Even better is the ability to easily change ingredients to match to your population and maybe make your own custom recipes from scratch. Having that ability within the software all in one will make your jobs easier, saving you on food costs, but most important, saving workflow efficiency. In MealTracker, we’re going to start you out with over 4,000 recipes to choose from and the ability to create your own recipes.
When it’s time to purchase your food, it’s critical to know what to shop for. MealTracker has resources for you to help as well. Operators can utilize MealTracker’s shopping list to improve your food order accuracy, take a quick inventory and then go directly to your vendors with that information. All the data is in one place to know exactly the amounts that you need. With resident-detailed profiles, you can capture unique needs like dietary preferences, allergies, food textures. All of this is very important to your residents’ satisfaction. The right food service software solution makes it easy for you to drive their experience. It allows for real-time updates to personal profiles that capture evolving taste and dietary needs. It streamlines the process, allowing you to focus on providing great service and spending more time with your residents. The ability to ensure the right meal is delivered to the right person in the right location every time.
It’s a well-known fact that dining programs are one of the pivotal differentiators among senior living communities. As the new generation of residents is entering the market, taste preferences and expectations are changing. Technology is a great way to boost mealtime satisfaction scores and ultimately, stand out from the rest. Food cost and resident satisfaction is a delicate balance. MealTracker’s detailed resident profiles help organizations better control food costs. For instance, double may just mean dessert, not every single item on your tray.
Control resident individual preferences for adjusted portions by meal, maybe by food category or even by resident day. Not every day, maybe three times a week. MealTracker has that covered for you. Looking at each resident individually, you can identify opportunities to control your food costs as well. To avoid waste, using MealTracker’s smart profile details puts portion control in features such as our smart selections working hand in hand to control your food budget. Whether you’re offering selections, serving standard meals based on diets and preferences, a tray cart service or room service, MealTracker is mobile capable and can go with you to get the information timely to help deliver not only great customer service, but accurate food count, providing exact menu details when offering options to residents, and that helps eliminate a lot of confusion for your staff as well as reduce satisfaction concerns from your residents.
Let’s go over some of the dining trends we’re seeing around menus and a few results from our 2022 dining survey. What we’re seeing with menus in the industry revolve around customization of menus and branding. People like choices. Your residents are no different. This is no different for them, and you want to make sure you’re serving them things like crafted cuisine, embracing that foodie revolution that they’re going after. Communities are customizing their menus to provide more variety. They’re looking to incorporate items and ingredients that are relevant and appealing to their residents. Customizing your menu also takes time and work. Our newly launched MealTracker services can help you.
Branding your dining has been on the rise as well. Having a unique and popular dining program gives your sales and marketing teams another compelling talking point when speaking with prospective residents and their loved ones. Almost always, a marketer will tell you that they’ve answered questions about the meals and what they’re like. Maybe branding your program or your dining program is something you want to consider to boost census. Making thoughtful dishes, incorporating diets that need special adjustments, whether they’re mechanically or therapeutically adjusted or required is now more focused, especially with the introduction and adoption that we’re seeing of the IDDSI Diet Standards. Communities have also shifted to a more sustainable, health-conscious approach when it comes to sourcing ingredients. Partnering with organizations such as local farms positively impacts the environment while benefiting from a higher quality food. This, too, can be part of your branding.
With the overall wellness trend, food plays an integral role. A rich array of fruits and vegetables ensures you’re getting enough fiber and supporting a more vegetarian offering. Healthy proteins to add in, keeping muscles strong and the brain sharp are also some popular trends. You just want to consider some of these initiatives that we’re seeing out there. In our 2022 dining survey, we can tell that dining and nutrition is of utmost importance. Some interesting facts are shown here from the results. 75% of our respondents say food cost is the main concern. 44% are seeing no change in their budget, sadly. 74% feel menu variety is of utmost importance, and most feel of our customer base, that MealTracker menu features are the best way to juggle all of this. When it comes to where to eat, we’re seeing residents have more choices than ever before. Like many mainstream restaurants, more senior operations and communities are offering al fresco dining areas for residents such as open-air patios and courtyards. Now as the season starts to warm up, I’m sure you’ll take advantage of things like that if you’re able.
The traditional dining room setting remains an option for those who want a restaurant style dining experience. However, communities are making even these spaces more adaptable and customizable by adding seating times and dividers maybe for more personal space. Meal delivery and grab go programs are becoming more commonplace in many communities as well. Some communities are even incorporating features you might find at high-end hotels such as room service, food carts, 24-hour food service options. If you can manage that with your staff challenges today, that would be definitely some interesting news. The medical model, the food service programs and mainly long-term care are generally still following. It provides limited menu options during scheduled meal times, but with variety now, more and more. Meals are typically served to a resident’s room if they’re immobile or in a dining room with wait staff. Medical model supports more of a centralized kitchen, a common dining area, pre-determined offerings for your menu. It helps plan your menu as well.
The set mealtimes also help with scheduled food service staff. Some medical models are also using cafeteria type setups with residents choosing from limited options, maybe off a hot table or a cart moving throughout the dining room. Trends in the use of technology is also important to keep up with. Software and hardware are ever-changing, and keeping up with these changes could actually improve your operations and alleviate your stress. Take a look at what’s out there. Programs like MealTracker have menu selection functionality that is mobile capable, offers smart substitutions and selections, has turnkey, ready made options for menus to reduce your workload. Production tools that are on trend include software that automate tallies instead of hand counting and not knowing exactly what to cook for. Offers recipe production details so your staff know exactly how they’re supposed to produce the menu item and maybe it connects to a kitchen display system or KDS system.
Who cannot have missed all of the introduction that we’re hearing in the industry with the use of robots, often to ferry food from kitchen to tables and then maybe even bus the dishes away from the tables? Some robots are even capable of going into elevators and delivering to resident rooms, I’m hearing. Of course, these are all costly equipment to consider, but it’s trending in the market. Most important these days is the ability to monitor food costs. Software that can help control or even reduce food costs is worth looking into and MealTracker has the answer. Changes in dining patterns are not limited to where seniors are having their meal and the organization of their dining setup. Operators are also rethinking the food selection itself, the menus. Seasonal spotlight, it keeps costs down and flavor and freshness up, no doubt. To ensure the residents get not just the right dietary requirements from the food, but also over higher level of quality, facilities are turning to products from local farmers or even products that they grow themselves. There’s also a shift towards more targeted diets that provide different health benefits.
For example, there might be menus that consist of foods that promote brain function. Nutritionists may be adding items with more fish oils, different kinds of berries and green vegetables. Variety is important, especially when it comes to meal choices. Many senior living communities are taking steps to increase variety and brand or customize their presentation options, as I mentioned. Restaurant style dining experience continues this year in senior living dining trends. Expanded menus and made to order meals ensure the residents have more flexibility in their daily meal choices. These trends are becoming reality in the post-acute care arena. Let’s take a look at how menu changes and recipe adjustments can maximize nutrition while considering costs. Why don’t we do our first poll?
Yes and share the results. We have 5% of our audience said meeting regulatory requirements is their biggest challenge. 43%, giving residents the meals they want and need. 14% said ordering food supplies in a cost-efficient manner. 5% said staff spending too much time planning and creating menus. Then our second runner up is 33% saying all of the above are their biggest challenges.
It’s a juggling act, it sounds like out there, so I appreciate you guys taking time to do that poll. Always good to hear what challenges you’re having out there. Software tools that excel in managing your menu and your operations is going to be lifesaving. Your residents, today’s diners, they want to have different options daily. Keeping up with this demand, though, requires software that can keep up as well. Menu development focuses on nutrient details, recipe and ingredient details as well as cost capabilities, but you also need to manage things like allergies, likes, dislikes, grouping those foods, matching items on your menu to actual recipes you’re using so they can be scaled appropriately and nutrient analyzed. Don’t forget to take advantage of menu printouts for posting your menu, which, by the way, is also a requirement. With MealTracker, you can already move items easily around and with our new feature that we’re offering and we just released, temporary substitution, you can do this for short term even easier.
You cannot be successful in developing a healthy menu at this speed and variety without software that eliminates the manual challenges. While focusing on your bottom line, you want to have software that offers menu flexibility. With MealTracker, you have tools that are flexible to personalize a menu by the number of weeks. You can add alternate items, create always offered lists, and even have the ability to add a Chef’s Choice menu. We also start you off with a no cost four-week cycle menu. For nearly 40 years, MealTracker has solved challenges in dining operations in healthcare facilities. We’ve recognized today’s generation of food-savvy seniors have high expectations of you to produce. We recognize your time, though, is better well spent in the kitchen or with your residents than behind the computer or behind maybe an Excel document trying to make your own menu.
We’ve heard that call from our customers, and we started offering a new service, MealTracker Menus, right within our product for direct subscription. It’s an additional purchase if you’re interested, but we have that solution ready to go for you, so you don’t need to look elsewhere. With food price increase, you’re forced to often change your menu, but making these changes requires some expertise in order to meet regulatory requirements. Using our software, it can make these changes maybe a little bit easier and simpler with access to tools operators need to ensure these requirements are being met. Substitutions must be appropriate by each diet and changes to menus need to be documented and posted. The needs of seniors come with the recommended daily amounts from the different food groups based on a 2000-calorie diet. Regulatory agents, surveyors are expecting these recommendations be followed. This is a general list that’s presented here, but even more specific details you could be held accountable for, what type of vegetables, what type of grains, what type of proteins.
Having MealTracker will help you meet these requirements easily because you’ll be able to look at those nutrient details and evaluate what is missing. With MealTracker’s latest feature, that smart substitution I mentioned, users can now have the ability to make many substitutions off that pre-planned menu. This is the only feature in the market that allows for temporary substitution and smartly reverts back to your plan menu. It solves the challenge of not having menu items and needing to adjust quickly. Maybe you don’t have the staff to prepare that planned menu item or you don’t have the product. Food is one of the largest expenses for healthcare facilities. I’m sure you’re all aware. Operators are looking to control these costs for this reason and since the USDA’s prediction of that 8% increase over 2022 inflation rates. Here’s why developing menus of quality that meet residents acceptance and needs is crucial to meet your bottom line.
Some general tips are here. Make sure you know your actual PPD for your food cost and what your PPD is for your budget, and cross reference and keep an eye on those throughout the month. In my life, I like to use a what’s called a spend-down tool. That often helps monitor what my costs are and where I’m at. I know with staffing challenges, buying convenience items may be the easier option, but it hurts your bottom line, so be cautious when looking at convenience items. Reduce overproduction. Make sure staff know how much they’re cooking for. Adjust your menu seasonally as mentioned and make changes that help. Look for sales, maybe in bulk. If you have the room and when items are at discounted prices, try and stock up. Then, of course, look at your inventory before each purchase.
Consider all your diets being offered. Are you liberalizing as a best practice, because that is what’s recommended, when possible, to liberalize your diet so you’re not overproducing and offering different items because you have so many diets? Then what else is going out the door? Too many guest trays, maybe, or are staff getting meals? This is all hitting your bottom line and something to consider. Food service management technology helps ensure that residents get what they like and expect, meeting their nutritional requirements. Also, mistake-free and controlling your waste. Having reports that quickly look to audit ingredients of your recipe and menus can help you evaluate your spend better. Planning your menu in advance to include leftovers maybe in soups or mixed dishes can avoid some food waste. Then see what’s best consumed, using high volume items more frequently since they may be of lower cost, items can be a menu game changer on your bottom line.
Present your food with a purpose. Evaluate the presentation and make some adjustments. Maybe you can incorporate some of these lower-cost ideas with adding spice, looking at grains and incorporating more seafood. Automation helps avoid errors. It allows the serving process to run more smoothly and gets food to the residents quicker and warmer, serving every resident more of what they like and less of what they don’t like so you don’t have to produce extra trays. For food service managers, MealTracker offers the tools necessary to execute and improve cost analysis, control production, and eliminate costly waste. We now offer menu services as well, so before we get started with that, maybe we’ll do another poll.
The results are, 71% said all of the above as their biggest benefit. The second runner up with 19% is saving staff time and increasing efficiency. Then tied for third with 5% is reducing cost when it comes to ordering inventory and then also more flexibility when it comes to customizing meals.
Wow, great feedback. There’s no question about the importance of ensuring your residents’ dietary nutrition needs are met every day. In fact, more than half of our survey respondents from our 2022 survey use MealTracker to build their own menus or purchase pre-built menus to ensure they’re meeting these needs. One out of three told us they’re struggling with rising food costs and need to be able to make adjustments easier to their menu. Three out of four told us that having menu variety that is compliant help keep residents healthy and satisfied. Well, with MealTracker’s new menu service feature, this lets you choose from a library of menus developed by registered dieticians to do just that. They include a range of therapeutic diets and regional themes. The MealTracker menus are cost-neutral menus that can be customized to your facility’s unique dietary needs and adjusted as needed for your PPD.
Our menu services don’t end there. We now offer individual sessions for our RDs to build your exact menu as needed. This is included with your subscription purchase to MealTracker Menus or can be quoted separately. While it might be taxing on your time and resources to develop that approved menu in-house, it’s not when you lean on our team. Our dining plans for seniors are easy to implement. We do all the heavy lifting and provide our clients with menus with nutrient analysis already matched to recipes spread across certain diets. Whatever you need at your location, we’ll be happy to help. Whether you use our menus or build your own, technology like MealTracker can provide costing reports that help you better manage your operation. You can utilize itemized menu reports by recipe, by meal, by day or even week. You can ensure you’re giving proper portions every step of the way with our individual profiles.
You can generate exact shopping lists for accurate purchasing and easily evaluate menu costs when pricing challenges occur. Reports such as the average menu cost shown here assist operators to know daily what their average meal is costing. Using averages by day or even weekly reporting can help operators understand how they need to adjust their menu against their food price challenges. Look by meal, by day, by week, or even by special diets quickly with our key reports to identify dollars that have risen above your budget plan. Menu pricing is not the only spend to watch. Having special requests and snack reports allows operators to identify costs of non-menu items. Those may be increasing your food costs as well. Resident preferences and special requests are all vital to their satisfaction, but these items add up and hit your bottom line, and you’ll need to make sure you’re evaluating those often. Having tools to do so and reassess those outliers to food costs is essential.
Options like this will surely help your bottom line, help operators identify potential areas to address and overall, control your food costs. I would love to welcome and I’m excited to welcome and hear from our panel guests at the Nazareth home. Thanks, Dawn and Tracy. Were you able to join us today?
Hello. Thanks so much. What challenges did you guys face in your dining operations that had you look to your technology that you already used for some answers? Can you tell us that story with MealTracker?
Accuracy and honoring the resident’s preference to improve the dining experience was a major goal of our quality improvement team. We were able to consolidate our diets, consistencies and menu selections. The MealTracker team was able to assist us in this process by utilizing all the tools that you all have available. They were able to assist us by setting up the different consistencies, diets, our menu.
By doing that, we were able to accurately estimate food purchases and have recently saw a decrease in the food cost, which is amazing, just this last month. The tools to identify resident preferences for food likes, dislikes, allergies, serving size preferences, and adaptive equipment has significantly improved the resident and family satisfaction. MealTracker allows these choices to be automatically reflected in the menu offerings, which eliminate potential oversights.
Wow, that’s great. I’m so happy for you guys that the tools are working. What techniques did you incorporate to help manage your dining operations and control the cost specifically?
Recipe scaling is one of our favorite features. We can make the recipes as much as we want or as little as we need, and it helps us control the food cost there as well. I can cook for 20. I can cook for 140 and it gives me the right recipes that I need for that, and portion control comes in as an important piece of that as well when you’re serving.
Great. How has MealTracker benefited your dining operations overall?
I think food allergies is a major concern with our dietary and our clinical team, so having the dietary order automatically integrate with MealTracker and show those allergies, we were able to eliminate any potential oversight. It automatically removes that food item from the menu and from their selective menu or tray ticket. I think having that feature has been very valuable for the dietary and our team. We’ve also updated our tray tickets and selective menus to highlight and identify key items on those selective menus, so their allergies, their consistencies, any adaptive equipment that they may need. Having those highlighted and bolded or underlined, we were able to choose that layout that we wanted, but I think it makes it very easy to stand out what those key things are to make sure that we get their tray correct when we’re doing the tray ticket preparation, so that’s been very valuable.
Well, great. Thank you for sharing that. How do you see MealTracker helping with customer satisfaction?
Well, our next big goal is to utilize selective menus, so we’re very excited about using that feature. I think the more involvement of the resident and family in the plan of care and communication, the better outcomes that we’re going to see.
Yeah, the select menu feature is a game changer when you’re ready to implement, for sure.
How have your outcomes improved? Can you tell us a little bit about that, both maybe clinically and operationally? I know you mentioned already seeing food cost controlled, but anything else?
The meals are so important to overall customer satisfaction. If someone’s dissatisfied with the meals, it can lead into other areas, so having the critical information flow into MealTracker from our Matrix, that has improved all the needs and preferences that are communicated to the dietary team to make sure that we do have good outcomes and customer satisfaction.
Well, great. Dawn, anything?
I like the fact that we can change the menu at any given time from basically the request from the residents based off what they would want to see on the menu. That gives them power to be more involved with the menu development here at Nazareth Home. This is one of the many ways we deliver person-centered care here and it lets the residents be empowered to make more personal choices.
That’s awesome. Tracy, you mentioned to me something about your NAR process. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Our Nutrition at Risk process, by utilizing MealTracker, we were able to improve that whole program significantly. It’s helped in our clinical review and has simplified identified weight loss or gain triggers. The reports in MealTracker are set up to correspond with the CMS requirements for those people that we need to bring into our Nutrition at Risk program. The dietician has been able to use the calorie counts, the resident preference reports, and quickly see the weight trends and BMIs. Seeing that graphed out has made it so much easier for her to identify those quickly.
By having all the dietary orders, again, import into MealTracker, that’s improved our communication and ensuring that all their requests and needs are fulfilled by the dietary department. Then having a huge selection of reports in MealTracker has made a huge difference in estimating the equipment needs, number of diets, consistencies, and just so many more opportunities with the reporting that we don’t see on our clinical side.
Well, thank you. That’s awesome. I’m so excited that you’re able to utilize all of that. We didn’t go over a lot of that today to our listeners, but I wanted to focus on our menu and our costing challenges that you guys are facing. That was the title, but as Tracy and Dawn expressed, MealTracker’s solved their problem not only clinically but operationally as well. I hope you all heard that message today. Thank you so much for sharing it, and I’m just so excited that we’re able to make an impact for you and your operations.
You definitely did. The whole team, you especially, Amy, just how responsive that you were and how many times that we questioned you about so many things and that you were always available and very helpful. We thank you, too, for all your help in improving our dining program.
Thanks so much. When choosing MealTracker, we want to make sure you’re feeling you’re getting the best for your dollar. We know there are other options out there, but if you need menus, if you need services, we’re here for you. We integrate with Matrix Care on diet orders. We didn’t speak too much to that, but that’s definitely a huge benefit, as you heard from Tracy and Dawn. Reach out to one of our sales representatives. Why don’t we take a few minutes and answer some questions?
Thanks, Amy. We do have a couple questions. The first question is, how long does it take to implement MealTracker?
Oh, great question. It really depends on you, how fast you want to go. MealTracker, we like to tell new clients four to six weeks implement, so plan that out. The reason being, you want to make sure either you’re giving yourself enough time to build those profiles, remember, those individual resident profiles. You want to make sure that’s planned out. You also want to make sure you decide what type of menu style and service you’re going to be doing and incorporate that into the rollout. Obviously, if you start with MealTracker Menus, it’s already in there ready to go, but if you’d like to build your own menu, we teach you and that’s part of the implementation process. You do get training. That’s two separate trainings, one for the resident profiles and building all of that out. In the second training, you’ll come back and you’ll learn how to use the menus and the reports. We’ll let you do your homework, whether you’re building your menus or building your resident profiles. Then we’ll have a go live date, so you’ll have a project manager through that whole process.
Great. Thank you, Amy. Our second question is, do you receive diets from Matrix Care when they are anchored?
Yeah, as Tracy was mentioned, we have full integration with Matrix Care product line, so Sigma Care, LPC, Matrix Care, Senior Living. Any diet order that’s entered by a nurse is automatically sent to MealTracker, so now we’re all on the same page.
Great. We have another question that says, do you have customer support?
Of course. MealTracker, as Tracy mentioned, I’m always available and try and make myself available for all of the customers whenever needed, but we have a great support team. They get five stars almost every month for their wonderful service that they offer and free training after the fact. Once you’ve implemented MealTracker, you go through that training process. You’re going to be set free, but every month, you’ll be able to join a live training again and hear maybe some things you missed or get questions answered and maybe pick up a new feature that you maybe didn’t use before. Those are offered every month, and you can even assign a staff member. You can have as many users in MealTracker as you want.
Well, I appreciate everyone joining today and spending some time to learn a little bit about MealTracker, and I hope you learned something. I hope you took away some trends, some information about helping the food cost control, understanding what’s going on in the market and some features with MealTracker, but thanks everybody for your time today. Have a great day.
That concludes the latest episode of the Post-Acute Point of View from Matrix Care. We have a lot of guests and topics coming up that you won’t want to miss, so be sure to subscribe. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast and if you have a topic you’d like us to discuss, leave us a review to learn more about Matrix Care and our solutions and services, visit MatrixCare.com. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Thank you for listening. Be well and we’ll see you next time.