The implementation of an ISO 22000 system into a private hospital food service facility and the impact on patient satisfaction and food safety audit results.
Aim: To determine the impact of the implementation of an ISO 22000 system in the foodservice department of a private hospital on patient satisfaction levels and results of food safety audits conducted. Objectives: To describe the demographics of hospital patients in terms of age, gender, length of hospital stay and type of special diet; to determine the patient satisfaction with the food and food service; to determine the relationship between demographics and patient satisfaction with the food and food service; to determine the impact of ISO 22000 on patient satisfaction; and to determine the impact of ISO 22000 on food safety audit results. Method: A total of one hundred and sixty hospital patients were interviewed during four surveys conducted over a period of approximately one year, during which time the ISO 22000 food safety management system was implemented into the foodservice department of a private hospital facility. Patients were surveyed using a questionnaire which gathered demographic information as well as the responses of patients to various aspects of the food and food service. The results of these surveys were analysed to describe the demographics of the patients, the relationship between demographics and satisfaction levels and satisfaction levels with the food and food service after ISO 22000 implementation. The results were analysed and compared to determine any improvements in audit scores after ISO 22000 implementation. Results: One hundred and sixty patients aged between 13 and 89 participated in the survey. One hundred and nineteen patients were female (74.4%) and forty one were male (25.6%). Most of the patients had been in hospital for between three and seven days and had not been on a special diet whilst in hospital. No statistically significant relationships were found between demographics and patient satisfaction levels with the food and food service. Overall, the responses with regards to food temperature, hygiene and cleanliness, food quality and the overall catering service indicated a generally high level of satisfaction. A statistically significant increase in satisfaction was found for the overall catering service, while a marginally significant increase was found for the food temperature after ISO 22000 implementation. The results of food safety audits improved after ISO 22000 implementation. Discussion: Despite the lack of statistically significant improvements in some areas of patient satisfaction with the food and food service in this study, the improvements that were found in patients’ satisfaction levels as well as the marked improvement in food safety audit results indicate that ISO 22000 does have a positive impact and offers many advantages in a hospital foodservice department. Conclusion: ISO 22000 implementation shows promise to increase patient satisfaction and improve the results of food safety audits. It is therefore recommended that further studies in the South African hospital environment are conducted in order to gain a clearer understanding of the impact that a food safety management system will have on patient satisfaction levels with the hospital food and food service as well as food safety audit results.