Lyngblomsten wins innovation award in McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards competition for its eMenuCHOICE software tool

Posted in News on October 13, 2017

Lyngblomsten, a senior care organization serving older adults in the Twin Cities since 1906, was named among top innovators in the 2017 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards competition for its development of eMenuCHOICE, a web-based software tool for meal-ordering and dining management.

“Looking for new and innovative ways to improve the experience of our residents has long been part of the Lyngblomsten culture,” Lyngblomsten President and CEO Jeff Heinecke said. “With so much emphasis being placed on greater choice, staff efficiency and food cost containment, the only real way to accomplish this was by developing technology designed specifically for a senior living campus. We are proud to accept the innovation award from McKnight’s.”

Lyngblomsten’s eMenuCHOICE won bronze in the competition’s Innovator of the Year Award category. The award recognizes senior care organizations that use technology to improve quality of care and cost savings. More than 100 entries were received for the overall competition, which honors five categories of award winners.

“This annual event recognizes providers who have harnessed technology to make life better for their residents,” Elizabeth Leis Newman, senior editor for McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, said in a statement. “This is an extremely competitive contest, and to be selected as one of the few honorees is a notable accomplishment.”

eMenuCHOICE is a web-based mobile software application designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of communication among residents, servers and kitchen staff during the meal-ordering process. The system features photos and audio descriptions of menu items and can call attention to allergies, special diets and diet changes.

“It was the goal of Lyngblomsten to bring greater choice and better customer service to all the residents across our campus during their mealtime experience,” Heinecke said of the software’s development.

Residents can use iPads or tablets to select their meals. The app also is accessible to family members, allowing them to be involved with the meal selection process.

In addition to empowering residents and their families, the application streamlines dietary management across an organization from the food service side of operations. The tool has proven successful in resident satisfaction, operational streamlining and cost savings.

Lyngblomsten launched eMenuCHOICE for internal use in 2013 and began offering it commercially for other organizations in 2015. At this time, thousands of senior care residents in a variety of facilities across the United States use the application for their meal-selection process.

“The fact that so many other senior living communities have the same appreciation for eMenuCHOICE that we do is extremely rewarding,” Heinecke said. “Its success helps to highlight the innovative spirt of the Lyngblomsten staff.”

The McKnight's Excellence in Technology award is the second major honor eMenuCHOICE has received since its inception. In 2015, eMenuCHOICE was awarded LeadingAge Minnesota’s Leading Change Innovation Award, which recognizes top innovative programs and ideas from older adult service providers with the intent of reimagining the aging experience.