For those who know Patrick Lamont, it’s always about improving the patient experience. As part of the new system, OBH (One Brooklyn Health), the senior director of food and nutrition at Brookdale Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, recognizes the importance of quality food service.
At Brookdale patients, families, doctors and staff are treated like family by Lamont and his team. A Brooklyn, NY hospital’s dining facility recently underwent a major overhaul: “a process that took a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” says a former healthcare dining executive. Highlights of the Lamont-led renovation include a redesigned kitchen that reflects the industry’s state of the art catering system. Brookdale innovates its retail approach through Grab-N-Go with an updated POS System, as well as a new sales offering partner (Gilli) that shares Lamont’s vision to take customer service to a new level.
With an MBA in hospital administration, Lamont is no stranger to the healthcare world. Before most recently working at Brookdale, he spent more than three years helping build and design a 550-bed women’s and children’s hospital in Doha, Qatar. He returned to America to be with his family, and when he returned, he was offered a job in various American cities. He finally decided on Brookdale and started the position in 2013.
“I thought I could make a difference when I came home.” When Lamont started at Brookdale, the hospital’s kitchen was supported by a first-generation delivery system and the cooking system was outdated. “The quality of the food was there, but the heating of the food reduced the quality significantly,” he said. Immediately, Lamont took action creating a new vision and list of goals to improve Brookdale Dining Services into one of the nation’s leading healthcare dining operations.
One indication of the hospital’s improvements is the addition of the Burlodge catering system. “The Burlodge RTS CT retherm self-contained hot and cold tray delivery cart checks all the boxes and allows us to meet our goals. I’m confident it will be the best solution for Brookdale because it will allow our team to deliver fresh hot and cold food. Lamont worked with Paul Cicco from Burlodge to create a system that works for everyone. He consulted the hospital administration, nurses and food staff.
The RTS (Ready to Serve) CT retherm features built-in HACCP monitoring, which allows Brookdale staff to view and monitor with an advanced remote B-Cloud system. Because the kitchen is a cook’s house, Lamont explains that he and his team “took advantage” of the simplicity that the Burlodge system technology offers.
Lamont spoke highly of Burlodge, explaining that his involvement with the Association for Healthcare Food Services (AHF) helps to “develop relationships, not just partnerships” with different companies, including Burlodge, to help diversify healthcare nutrition. These relationships “have made it much easier to achieve Brookdale’s goals and vision,” as they allow Lamont and his team to work one-on-one with companies.
The new and improved facility worked with JC Elite Construction to redesign their centralized and decentralized warehouses, re-facelift, vendor Gilly Vending and software company MM Hayes to upgrade their existing POS system. The previous system was unable to accept credit cards or offer payroll deductions, and this affected overall sales, Lamont. After two weeks on the MM Hayes system, sales have shown promising growth of 7.5 to 10 percent so far. “With our new ability to accept credit cards, we expect sales to increase by 20%.”
After 10 years of hard work, Lamont is still looking for ways to improve the Brookdale dining establishment. He is grateful to the “dedicated and willing” team that helped throughout the upgrade, and is working and setting goals to make the Brookdale dining experience safe and above our patients’ expectations, and something the staff can be proud of. .
“Our next goal is to redesign the tray line and make it more user-friendly and efficient, so we need to review the ergonomics department,” he said, explaining that he wants to reach six trays per minute. Lamont is also looking forward to working with more technology, including AI (artificial intelligence), to give the Brookdale facility a “competitive advantage.”
“The possibilities are endless, and the sky’s the limit,” he says, looking ahead to the high-end customer and patient experience. Once again, Patrick Lamont has reset the standard for high quality healthcare food service with a desire to get it right.