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Inova FairFax Hospital

Morrison Healthcare is uniquely geared to foster bold ideas and innovation in the food service management industry. Our culture fosters the ability of our associates to provide solutions that address your needs with speed, substance and a success rate that no one else in the industry can rival.

Inova Fairfax Hospital

Inova is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that serves more than two million people each year from throughout the Washington, DC, metro area and beyond. Inova’s five hospitals include more than 1,700 licensed beds and 16,000 employees.

The health system’s flagship is Inova Fairfax Hospital established in 1956 in the urban/suburban community of Falls Church, Va. The not-for-profit, acutecare hospital has 833 beds and is consistently ranked among the top healthcare providers in the United States. Inova Fairfax Hospital serves the Washington, D.C. metro area and is home to Northern Virginia’s only Level 1 trauma center.

Inova Fairfax utilizes two room service programs— Dining on Call for approximately 225 maternity and pediatric patients and Catering to You for all other patients. These programs allow patients to have a dining experience that matches the level of care they deserve during their stay. And, to bring a more patient-centered dining experience to hospital patients, they will receive either the benefit of hotel-style room service or restaurantstyle personal attention through Dining on Call and Catering to you.

In 2014, the Morrison Healthcare team worked with the Inova Fairfax patient services team and nurse leadership to enhance services and at the same time devoted a renewed focus on improving Food and Nutrition patient satisfaction scores.


In 2013, Professional Research Consultants (PRC) reported Food and Nutrition patient satisfaction quarterly overall rankings ranging from 21.8 to 54.1. While comparing 2013 to 2014 has its challenges due to Inova’s change from PRC to Press Ganey, there is no denying rankings and scores improved considerably. The year-to-date Press Ganey overall rank is 68 and the mean score is 84.3.

Improved rankings and scores are expected to continue due to increased communications being another positive result of this initiative. A disconnect between the production and patient services teams was repaired, and standing weekly meetings with nurse leadership across the hospital increased engagement between nursing and food service. In addition, the front line staff became more engaged, a culture of teamwork developed and ownership of excellent customer service increased.

How success was achieved

“Train, train, and then train some more,” said David Iannamico, Morrison’s director of Food and Nutrition Services at Inova Fairfax.

In addition to using eLearning modules, the teams implemented one-onone training with all catering associates around best practices in process and customer service. Training also included effective rounding on the floors.

In addition, all managers were made aware of the importance of excelling service standards—contract negotiations and penalties/incentives—which was supported by a consistent message from leadership surrounding all things patient service.

The change to Press Ganey provided additional tools allowing associates to see the temperature, food quality and service scores (areas of control) independently by unit and adjust focus accordingly.

Services were also enhanced.

    Implemented a new after-hours meal process providing freshly prepared Dining on Call and Catering to You meals available till 7:30 p.m. daily.Delivered smoothies between meals.Provided a coffee cart and snack cart daily for pediatric parents.

Other ways success was achieved include:

  • Focused on quality rounding, compliance with rounding expectations and implemented a daily rounding meeting involving the production team.
  • Challenged all processes until desired results were achieved, and all team members were held accountable for achieving results.
  • Focused on hiring the right person for the job and rapidly closed the gap of open positions which greatly improved engagement.Recognized individual associates for improving courtesy of service scores in daily line-up meetings. Recognition and team building programs also included:
    • - Thank You Card Thursdays
    • - Turkeys for all associates at Thanksgiving
    • - Pot luck meals throughout the year
    • - An annual associate lunch
  • Built awareness around temperature, presentation and especially service
    • - A sample plate was created at every meal-time.
    • - Associates were invited to request a tasting at any time and provide feedback.
    • - All recipes were challenged for taste and presentation daily.
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