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Handwashing: Culinary vs. Nursing

Mike Mann's picture

Winners have the data

Handwashing in nursing home and hospital kitchens is often better in terms of compliance than that in Nursing areas. Surprised? Not surprised? How do we know? Data.

It is not all good news for Culinary in that Nursing regularly reports a 90% handwashing compliance rate based on their admittedly flawed secret shopper observation-only data, while the actual is often half that or less. In Culinary the secret shopper method doesn’t work and the kitchen often is not even asked for compliance numbers. Thus beating Nursing can still leave Culinary with less than a 50% compliance rate established specifically for the kitchen employee.

For those kitchens looking to establish a standard for handwash frequency, consider implementing the MyWIN™/OurWIN™ System as the first step.

Newly available handwash monitoring systems designed for the professional kitchen provide the needed data to form a realistic baseline and light a path of continuous improvement. After all, that is the standard set and audited by the Joint Commission. Investment in handwash monitoring technology is truly a patient and resident centric move with rewards witnessed both in the provider's bottomline and in the wellness of those under their care.

When there is a norovirus infection in a nursing home or acute care hospital, how often is it sourced back to the flow of the food? Do they even look? The accuracy and efficiency of the new Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) technology now deployed by the CDC in their PulseNet lab network can help make this connection and deal with the root cause rather than the spreading symptom. This is good news for everyone as long as the increased risk is managed effectively.