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DietTools: how to improve food costs and patient safety 


Although it is not a new tool, as it has been on the market for more than 18 years, not everyone knows what it is, its purpose and use, or where the DietTools software developed by DOMINION is implemented.

It is a tool for the management of dietetics, nutrition and cuisine that allows controlling the quality and traceability of food consumed by patients in the hospital environment. This makes it easier to manage the choice of menus, allergies, patient preferences, tastes, supplements and macronutrient profile. The system easily automates a typically tangled circuitry with a high risk of transcription errors, i. e. the patient's dietary prescription is automatically sent from the doctor's or nurse's computer equipment to the dietetic and kitchen departments.


With a presence in more than 121 hospitals in countries such as Spain, Andorra, Chile and Peru and managing the daily diet of more than 60,000 patients, the tool supports decision making, helps to improve patient safety, quality of care and clinical efficiency. In addition, it is not only able to manage the diets of the patients, but also to control the diets of companions, as well as staff meals. All these advances lead to an increase in labour productivity, food safety, significant savings on purchases and the optimization of human resources in the hospital sector.


Some of the communities that have opted for DietTools as corporate software for all their hospitals are: Galicia, Basque Country, Navarra, Cantabria, Extremadura, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla León, Madrid and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. In the rest of communities it is also present in hospitals as important as Reina Sofía in Córdoba, Hospital La Fe in Valencia, Hospital de Valme in Seville, Corporación Sanitary Corporation Parc Taulí in Barcelona, Hospital de Cartagena and Hospital Central in Asturias. Internationally it is worth mentioning the Hospital Virgen de Meritxell in Andorra, Hospital del Niño in San Borja in Peru or the new Antofagasta hospital in Chile.


The experience of the Reina Sofia University Hospital in Cordoba (HURS)


One of the most outstanding cases of DietTools implementation is the Reina Sofia University Hospital in Córdoba (HURS). Made up of four centres and a centralized kitchen, the dieting request process used to be carried out manually by means of templates. This generated deficiencies in the control of requests, as well as an imbalance between stays and diets served, insecurity of the data mechanization system or the need to ensure traceability to the patient in this process. After a complete study, several objectives were set out in order to improve the situation, including the implementation of a computer tool that would allow online requests from the units, as well as increasing patient safety and satisfaction, reducing costs in the consumption of diets and avoiding errors by speeding up information.


The decision was made to implement the DietTools software, and after starting to use it, the results were practically immediate: improved information flow (reduced time, increased security and efficiency); improved traceability (with the possibility of monitoring throughout all stages of the alimentary process); increase in patient safety; reduction in the number of diets served below the number of stays; and finally, cost reduction. In fact, according to the study carried out by Teresa Justo Coleto (Head of Food Service, Quality and Food Safety) and Rosa Fernández Robles (Assistant Director of General Services),"in economic terms, it meant a net saving of 137.000€ in one semester only (2nd 2009)", and in terms of perceived quality, there were" zero complaints in 2010, obtaining an overall increase in user satisfaction with the quality of service of 4% (2009-2010)".


Other success stories


Another of DietTools' most recent examples is the implementation at Urduliz Hospital in December 2017. This center also has the peculiarity of being the first to be integrated with the admission census through webservices, taking as reference the menus of the Santa Marina Hospital which is a similar center.


In the implementation, all expectations are fulfilled and the entire dietary circuit of the patient's diet is computerized, in which the diet is prescribed by the nurse; Dietetics checks and filters the diet, and cuisine carries out the dishes according to the patient's diet and pathology indications.


Also worth mentioning is the case of Hospital Universitario Río Hortega in Valladolid, the most modern hospital center in Valladolid, inaugurated in 2009. One of the most important advancements thanks to DOMINION's technology is that the selection of the menu is made through the touch screens at the head of the bed, where the patient can also interact for other actions such as phone calls, games, Internet navigation, pay TV, etc...


DOMINION has established itself in the field of health as one of the referents thanks to, among others, the use of DietTools and FarmaTools, software that is presented as an aid in decision making and improves safety in the use of medicines and diets, reducing costs and seeking zero error in matters related to the patient.

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Dietools is a tool for the management of dietetics, nutrition and cuisine