ALERT: Poor Hand Washing Tied to Infection Control IJs

AHCA recently completed a review of nearly 100 citations for F-tag 441 (infection control) that resulted in an IJ and or a CMP, nearly every one identified hand washing as the core reason. They also reported that nearly all the time staff was able to perform hand washing correctly and correctly describe the policy and procedure on when and for whom hand washing was necessary. However, during the surveys reviewed staff forgot to perform hand washing. This occurrence included:

  • When residents were noted as having contact precautions such as C. diff or MRSA etc.
  • Not following procedures to wash their hands when they took off their gloves
  • When they went into the room for a “brief” encounter, with no planned physical interaction but resulted in a “quick” touching of the resident or the resident environment (i.e.  remote, glass or water, food tray, etc.)
  • Also, the citation did not just include the CNAs and RNs but often the administrator and housekeeping

AHCA’s take home message:  Facilities need to have a robust reminder system and staff culture to tell each other to wash their hands.