Nutrition services

Inpatient Nutrition Services | VA Madison Health Care

Wound care

Our dietitians play a vital role in educating patients on healthy eating to promote wound healing. They will consider macro and micronutrient needs, the patient’s medical history, food preferences, laboratory data, possible food-drug interactions, and dietary preferences, among other factors. Dietitians develop a nutritional assessment and personalized recommendations to ensure that patients meet their nutritional needs. Madison VA Hospital dietitians also serve on a wound care committee that meets monthly to discuss wound care issues with nurses and physical therapists.

Nutritional support

There are times when people may not be able to eat and drink enough to maintain their nutrition. When this happens, nutrition must be delivered in a different way. One method is “enteral nutrition” or “tube feeding”. When necessary, a temporary or permanent tube can be placed in the nose or in the abdomen. A special liquid food mixture is prescribed to flow through this tube and provide you with the protein, energy, vitamins and minerals you need.

If people are unable to eat at all or do not absorb your food well, you may need “parenteral nutrition”. In this case, a special IV is placed in the large veins near your heart. An intravenous (IV) fluid designed for you will pass through this access and provide your protein, energy, vitamin, mineral, and electrolyte needs.

With enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition, your dietitian works with the doctor to ensure you are receiving adequate nutrients, electrolytes, and fluids. The dietitian will also work with you when you are ready to return to normal eating. If you request these home treatments, you will continue to be monitored by a dietitian to ensure that they work well for you.

Nutrition call center

We are currently offering room service for patients who have been determined to be suitable to order. Patients receive our room service menus as well as the option to order from our house menu. We do not currently offer room service for our texture-modified diets, but hope to include patients on the easy-to-chew diet to order room service when transitioning to IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative) diets. ).

For patients not on room service, you may request to see a dietitian or dietary technician regarding dietary preferences or other nutritional issues at any time during your stay at the VA. Tell your nurse or doctor so that a dietitian or technician can be contacted immediately.

All orders placed through the Nutrition Call Center are reviewed by a member of the Nutrition Team (Nutrition Ambassador, Diet Technician, Dietitian) to ensure they match your diet order, match to registered food preferences and do not contain anything allergic. at. We also take care to honor special diets related to cultural and religious preferences.

Snacks and Supplements

Snacks or nutritional supplements may be provided to you between meals during your hospital stay to meet your nutritional needs. A clinical dietitian or dietary technician can see you in the hospital if needed or requested to establish a personalized meal plan for special needs or to meet nutritional goals. Feeds or supplementary foods may be provided up to three times a day between meals at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and/or 8 p.m. while you are in hospital if it is part of your nutrition plan or to meet your needs. Snacks or supplements may be beneficial if you have the following nutritional goals: gain weight if you are underweight, consume adequate nutrition if you are filling up quickly or have a poor appetite, or have increased needs healing, etc. calorie/protein supplements at home, a nutritional plan and goals will be established by a Registered Dietitian. You will need to follow up at the nutrition clinic to receive refills as you work on these goals and to see if your plan is still working for you.

Meal times for inpatients

Our goal is to provide healthy and appetizing meals to our hospitalized veterans.

Patient meal times

Unselected meals are sent at standard meal times, if entered within these cut-off times:
Breakfast order cut-off time: 6:00 a.m.
Noon order cut-off time: 10:00 a.m.
Evening order deadline: 3:30 p.m.

​​​Standard meal delivery times:
Breakfast delivery: 7:25 a.m.-8:15 a.m.
Lunch delivery: 11:35 a.m.-12:35 p.m.
Lunch delivery: 4:55 p.m. to 5:55 p.m.

New Orders and Regime Changes:
Veterans hospitalized on an unselected menu will receive a meal as changes occur. Dietary prescriptions are checked regularly.

Room service orders:
Room service orders can be placed anytime between 6.30am and 6.30pm by calling x13333. A meal delivery time of 45 minutes after ordering is our goal. On our 30 minute change between meals, expect a slightly longer arrival time.

Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Noon: 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Evening: 3:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.


Room service patients can order snacks between meals that match their prescribed diet. For those following a diabetic diet, snacks should be ordered at least 1 hour after a meal and should contain around 15 grams of carbohydrates or less. Individualized snacks can be delivered to patients who may benefit from them. Some snacks are also kept on the floor between meals and after work hours.