Staffers will be able to make meal purchases at offsite restaurants with their badges.
Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals is rolling out a program that will allow its staff to use their ID badges to make purchases from foodservice providers in the area around the hospital. e goal of the program is to extend dining options to the 16,000 staff ers and students working at the hospital beyond what is available from the onsite dining facilities, says Shelley Chamberlain, assistant director of dining services.
The hospital is using CBORD’s Off -Campus Commerce Program, a utility traditionally used by colleges to extend meal service payment to off -campus providers. TJUH will be the first healthcare provider using the program.
Chamberlain says the hospital had sent letters to area merchants in early May and was hoping to kick off the program by the beginning of June, though “July is more likely.” It would involve not just food providers but other services like pharmacies and dry cleaners. The core criterion is that the merchant be close to the TJUH campus.
The initiative, she says, was the fruit of a combination of sources. “We had the idea in our minds because merchants had called us about such a program from time to time. en, our representative saw the system at the CBORD Users Conference recently.”
TJUH has a main cafeteria that operates from 6:45 am to 7:30 pm (7 on weekends) daily, along with a couple of satellite lobby kiosk operations. The main cafeteria sees about 2,500 customers a day.
Staff and students have two electronic payment options using their ID badges, either a payroll deduction or a debit account, that they can currently use in the foodservice outlets, and which could be used at the off site merchants when the program is in place. TJUH will get a “minimal cut” of the off site sales, but Chamberlain says that is not the reason for the program.
“This is being done as an employee satisfier and as a connection with the surrounding community,” she says, adding that she is not sure yet what impact the new dining options will have on the in-house operations.