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MONITORING FOR ACCURACY AND EFFICIENCY ON A TRAY LINE ASSEMBLY: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A FOODSERVICE BENCHMARKING SYSTEM

Gwen Friesen, Dietetic Intern The Sage Colleges , Troy, NY

INTRODUCTION
Benchmarking is a management tool utilized to measure and improve critical processes. Benchmarking establishes performance standards based on past trends and outlines a system to monitor and correct current performance. Accuracy and efficiency are critical elements of tray line assembly. For the health and well-being of the patient it is essential: the meal delivered reflects the prescribed diet (accuracy) the meal is assembled as quickly as possible (efficiency)

METHODS
To establish the performance standards, data was collected from five meal services, two breakfast and three lunch meals. ACCURACY A total of n=50 assembled trays were audited for accuracy, with ten trays selected randomly from each meal service. Assembled trays were compared against the items listed on the tray ticket and the number of discrepancies recorded.

RESULTS
ACCURACY

RESULTS
BENCHMARKING Goals and performance standards for accuracy and efficiency were developed based on collected data. Accuracy Benchmark Goal: 100% Efficiency Benchmark Standard:2.13 trays assembled per minute Benchmarking system contains: Audit schedule to continually monitor performance Tools to analyze data and monitor performance trends When performance trends do not meet goals or standards a process for corrective action is outlined.

Calculated as the ratio of the number of correct items on the tray to the total number of items on the tray ticket.
Accuracy Rate: 98.8% (365 to 369 items).

EFFICIENCY The duration of each meal service was recorded along with the total number of trays assembled.

PURPOSE
EFFICIENCY To develop an internal benchmarking system to monitor hospital tray line accuracy and efficiency performance standards. Defined as the number of trays assembled per minute The duration of each meal service was recorded along with the total number of trays assembled per meal service.

The efficiency rate for the five meal services was : 2.13 trays per minute (525 trays assembled in 247 minutes).

CONCLUSION
A benchmarking system provides a method to continually monitor performance to ensure the desired tray line accuracy and efficiency rates are maintained. The goal is to develop best practices to ensure quality standards of the tray line assembly are maintained.