Coordination of staffing interactions and processes for providing food service in Swiss Hospitals

; (). Coordination of staffing interactions and processes for providing food service in Swiss Hospitals. In: Keith Alexander; Ilfryn Price (Hg.). EuroFM Research Papers Advancing knowledge in FM. People Make Facilites Management. (44-50). PD Schiphol-Rijk: EuroFM Publications. Peer reviewed.


Purpose: This research sets out to explore how staff from different departments cooperate to provide food service in hospitals and how the different tasks in the food service process are connected. This topic is of particular interest because the quality of this service is often closely related to the perceived image of a hospital.

Theory: Facility Management (FM) in hospitals enables the core activities of medicine and nursing to concentrate on the patients. The types of multifaceted processes that are typical in hospitals depend a large amount on complex cooperation between different categories of staff and require many different tasks to be coordinated. In order to run efficiently this cooperation between staff and the coordination of the individual tasks must be managed.

Design/methodology/approach: The research method is based on a case study examining several Swiss hospitals that were selected by purposive sampling. Data was collected using structured observations, document reviews and interviews. Descriptive data analysis methods were then applied.

Findings: The results confirm that FM departments do not always have complete responsibility for hospital food service processes. This represents a challenge for the provision of excellent service. The results also shows that staff from different departments work in cooperation and need to coordinate many food service tasks in Swiss hospitals. The interfaces between departments that this cooperation creates have various impacts on costs as well as patient satisfaction. In general, a lack of communication was identified as one of the main reasons for increased costs and reduced patient satisfaction.

Originality/value: The findings of this research add to the knowledge of how the way in which different categories of staff work together impacts food service quality in Swiss hospitals. This provides FM managers with a valuable basis to argue for improvements in service efficiency and quality.