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A recent survey by Sodexo and Project Greenhealth asked how sustainable practices, specifically in dining, impacted patient satisfaction and loyalty.

The research showed that while “sustainability” is a more common term today than a decade ago, only 54 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat familiar with it. But once it was defined, 94 percent of patients and visitors believe that sustainability is extremely, very or somewhat important, according to an article on the Project Greenhealth website.

Among those surveyed who noticed sustainability practices:
• Ninety-four percent reported satisfaction with the overall hospital experience
• Ninety-two percent reported satisfaction with the food and beverage experience
• Eighty-six percent indicated likelihood that the patient would choose to return to that hospital

Hospitals, however, aren’t doing as good a job with talking about their individual sustainable practices or their broader green initiatives, the article said.

Only 27 percent of survey respondents said they were aware of healthcare facilities' sustainable practices.

Plus, all sustainability practices are not the same when it comes to impacting patient satisfaction, according to Alison Saine, director, consumer insights at Sodexo Culinary Solutions. There are two practice categories: the “expected” and the “exciters.”
For instance, healthy patient meals and healthy options in a hospital café are expected, as are recycling and energy-savings measures.

But food sourced from local farmers and composting are “exciters” that can help differentiate an organization.

Read the full article.