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 have been selected as beta-testing sites for education which includes six short (15 minute) videos for kitchen staff and two short (20 minute) videos for dietary managers and facility administrators 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 40 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.