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Hospital food gets a bad rap sometimes, but not at UNC Health Blue Ridge, where the food and the people who deliver it have been recognized as some of the best.

The HCAHPS Survey (pronounced “H-caps” which stands for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is used to measure patients’ perceptions of their hospital experience.

Patients are asked two questions — one about the quality of their food and one about the courtesy of the person serving the food. For 2023, the UNC Health Blue Ridge Food and Nutrition team had the highest “meals overall” scores out of 12 UNC Health locations.

That is cause for celebration, but what may mean a bit more is the comments patients added to their survey:

  • When I was in the hospital, I left with my confidence in humanity restored. Although the nurses and physicians were excellent and compassionate, the thing that I remember most was the conversation with the food servers.
  • The time I spent in that small room was brightened each time someone would come in to take my food order or bring me my meals.
  • I can’t remember her name, but one young lady really stood out. She would make me laugh and share things with me every time she came into my room. For those few moments I forgot where I was, and I quickly found myself looking forward each morning to her visit. Thank you for seeing me as more than a patient and treating me as a person!

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HCAHPS is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care, and allows for valid comparisons to be made across hospitals — locally, regionally and nationally. HCAHPS is used to create incentives to improve the quality of care, produce comparable data on a patient’s perspective, and increase transparency within health care to make the public more accountable.

“I knew we would score high,” said Chief Operating Officer Jon Mercer. “We have excellent teammates and chefs in Food and Nutrition who truly care about our patients and seeing that they are fed good food. To score the highest among the other UNC Health locations is a great accomplishment and I’m so proud of my team.”

The entire team was recognized last week with a celebration for their dedication and hard work.



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