Working to Improve Dietary Services

The Dietary Services Project is a grant-funded program awarded to the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to improve the safety and quality of dietary services in California’s skilled nursing facilities.

The 42 month-long project will focus on promoting and providing education to dietary and administrative staff at all of California’s 1250 skilled nursing facilities. The project incorporates an advisory panel of registered dietitians, food service managers and supervisors, and other long-term care consultants who will advise on the best approach and topics to cover in educational materials, based on an analysis of F-tags (deficiencies from the past three years of facility surveys by CMS).

Initially, 10 volunteer facilities will be selected as beta-testing sites for education which will include eight short (15 minute) videos on safe food handling, sanitation, food storage and resident-centered care along with webinars, posters, written materials, and in-person training.  Subsequently, the program will be offered to an additional 50 facilities, with data analyzed at the end of the project.

The $1.1 million program is funded from nursing home fines, which are collected by the California Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification Division and deposited in a federal civil monetary penalty fund.

Free project educational materials will ultimately be made available through a website to all nursing home providers in the state, including non-members of the California Association of Health Facilities.

For more information, contact Director of Clinical and Quality, DeAnn Walters at 916-432-5213.