The Dietary Services of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram commenced functioning from the inception of the Hospital i.e. on 22nd November, 1991.
The hospital Dietary Services cater to the dietary needs of all the in-patients. In case of emergencies, out-patients as well as their attendants are also provided diet. The role of diet as a therapeutic agent is well recognized as a key to the early recovery of the sick and the convalescent patients. Diet plays a major role in adaptation of the patient in unfamiliar surroundings and making one feel homely by giving due consideration to dietary habits and preferences.
The aim of Dietary Services is to achieve good nutritional status of the patients by providing a well balanced, therapeutic and sathwic diet. The delicate task of satisfying the taste of diverse patients is indeed challenging. The diet is customised to suit therapeutic needs, conforming to the strict standards of hygiene and safety and enables to cope with the pre and post operative stress.
Our ancient scriptures insist on the intake of sathwic food. Sathwic food is that which is wholesome, nutritious, fresh and essentially vegetarian. Intake of such food promotes purity, serenity and equanimity of mind. The physical body is “The temple of the living God”. We are what we eat. What we feel, think and express depend on what we eat.
Bhagawan Baba points out that the food one eats has to be pure, free from the subtle evils radiated by the persons who collect the materials, who cook the dishes and who serve them.
Meeting the patient’s nutritional needs involves the coordination of the Medical, Nursing and Dietary team. The physician prescribes the diet depending on the diagnosis of the case. The dietitian is the specialist who is qualified to plan the patient’s nutritional care. She interprets the physician’s order in terms of daily meal patterns that have been individualised according to the patient’s therapeutic needs.
The Department of Dietary Services at the SSSIHMS is staffed with qualified and experienced dietitians and a team of dedicated, devoted and committed dietary assistants.
The dietitians make ward rounds everyday to ascertain the dietary needs of the patients based on their age, sex, diagnosis, health status, food habits, tolerance, food allergies etc. Based on the caloric and other nutrient requirements, the meals are planned for every patient.
All the food that is prepared is first served to the Lord with the chanting of Universal Food prayer. The success of diet implementation is in the consumption of the diet. A great deal of care and concern is taken by the dietitians and dietary staff to ensure that the diet is consumed by the patients. Healthy eating practices are introduced in the patients.
The department is linked online to the Hospital Information System and individual diet orders are placed for every patient.
Patients are regularly counselled to enlighten on the importance of consumption of appropriate diet based on their diagnosis and health condition both as a curative and preventive measure. On discharge, patients needing modification in their diets are educated and provided a detailed diet chart.