When planning for food procurement in your hospital system, your end goal is always to provide a quality menu that meets your patients’ nutritional needs and the standards of care for your healthcare facility. Sustainable food purchasing can help by procuring food that is healthy and nutrient rich. Quality, sustainable food is easily integrated into your hospital food menu. Learn how to implement a sustainable food procurement procedure in your facility and the benefits of “green” procurement in your supply chain.

What is sustainable food purchasing?

Sustainable food purchasing is defined as food procurement that promotes quality and safety. It focuses on eliminating the additives and contaminants in menu offerings. By crafting a well-rounded and sustainable food system, quality and satisfaction is raised. When a hospital system incorporates a sustainable food procurement solution, their supply chain and usage behaviors can promote long-term efficiencies and process improvements.

The benefits of food sustainability go far beyond the financial aspects. Animal welfare is usually improved at sustainable farms, generally meaning that food safety also increases. Additionally, the preservation of natural resources by these food suppliers are a dramatic force for improving environmental sustainability.

Sustainable procurement also fosters resilience. By diversifying food sources and supporting sustainable farming practices, healthcare providers can mitigate risks associated with food supply disruptions. This ensures a more stable and reliable food supply, crucial for maintaining consistent patient care.

Why is food sustainability important in hospital procurement?

If the healthcare industry were to implement a more sustainable system of food procurement, it would bring immediate and comprehensive benefits to all health systems. Improving efficiency, reducing costs and making informed decisions would be easier with a more consistent and controlled supply chain.

In healthcare supply chain management, your hospital system looks to choose products that increase the quality of care for patients. The goal is to improve the operational components of your facility. When crafting your procurement strategy, it is vital to include sustainable food product choices.

The Benefits

Hospital supply chains can reap the many advantages of sustainable food purchasing including:

    • More nutrient-rich and diet-friendly food for patients. Sustainable food offerings can provide greater nutrients and food value to patients. When feeding patients with modified diets or dietary restrictions, having a breadth of sustainable offerings can add variety and increase the quality of nutrition in your hospital food service’s meals. Read more about sourcing better diets for your patients here.
    • Better supplier relationships. In a hospital supply chain, you have many supplier relationships to manage. Sustainable food purchasing can help by catering to group purchasing organizations and broadline vendors. These sources have the availability your healthcare setting needs.
    • Reduce waste. You can reduce waste in your hospital’s supply chain by creating a sustainable purchasing plan. Tracking where purchases are being made, whether or not the products are being used, and what is being paid are all crucial steps to reducing unnecessary costs. This has an added benefit of reducing your organization’s environmental impact.
    • Increase efficiency and productivity levels. Healthcare food procurement can take a lot of time and often limit active patient care. A sustainable food system and supply chain can elevate process improvement in your healthcare setting. This allows providers to focus on providing the best care. 
    • A more adaptable supply chain. Recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic have made a large impact on food security in the United States. The supplier relationships created by a sustainable supply chain are key to improving your chances of being cost-effective in a rapidly changing market. They also protect food security for your patients.

How can Direct Supply DSSI support sustainable food procurement?

Evaluating the importance of sustainable food procurement can bring widespread benefits. Process improvement and cost savings potential will come to your hospital’s supply chain. DSSI can help you achieve the benefits of sustainable food purchasing with:

  • Group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and broadline vendors. DSSI  works with group purchasing organizations down to broadline vendors. We help ensure that healthcare procurement is positioned to include optimized food choice and sustainability. Our procurement software helps you find the best price for the best products.
  • Food procurement spend analysis. DSSI can help you conduct a food procurement spend analysis so you can drill down on specific product costs. Our procure-to-pay system allows you the ability to digitally see how you can deploy your food savings.

DSSI is committed to forming strong partnerships that promote sustainability in procurement for our customers.

Getting started on a sustainable food procurement procedure

Looking for a sustainable food procurement partner? DSSI contributes to sustainable procurement efforts by helping bring nutritionally stable meals from broadline vendors to your hospital food system. Designed specifically for healthcare, our food procurement system allows you to transparently see what you’re infusing into your patients’ diets with nutritional information. The time is now to redefine your healthcare procurement strategy and reap the benefits of sustainable purchasing for your supply hospital chain.

Contact us to learn more about sustainable food procurement strategies for your hospital system.