Kitchens in hospitals have always been known to be dangerous places to work, with a proliferation and endless variety of hazards present. Cuts, slips and falls, burns, fire, moving equipment, electrical exposure, and many other types of risks await the person who works in a healthcare kitchen.
Recently The Joint Commission published an article on Kitchen Tracers and included a sample kitchen inspection form as a tool for use during these tracers. While their standards no longer explicitly require environmental tours and their publication does not explicitly indicate a requirement that kitchens be inspected at any specific frequency, it would seem obvious that they are pushing organizations toward inspecting kitchens and documenting those inspections at some periodic frequency.
Further, when you look closely at the TJC form, in almost all cases they have tied the inspection issue to a specific TJC element of performance in either EC, LS, IC, Dietary, etc.). In addition, in recent presentations, TJC speakers have indicated that kitchen inspections is one of the items that central office is encouraging surveyors to look closely. At the end of the day it is clear that surveyors are going to be asking you about your kitchen inspection process, looking carefully at your documentation, looking for follow-up remedial actions, and citing deficiencies accordingly.
With all of this known, it seems quite clear that organizations would do well to have a periodic kitchen inspection policy and a format for documenting findings and corrections. To that end, we are providing you a copy of a kitchen inspection tool which addresses all of the EC and LS issues in The Joint Commission Tracer article as well as some of the key infection control issues.
This inspection is included in our Compliance CMS software program and is being made available as a free-standing application as well. Please contact George Williams at ComplianceCMS, LLC (917-751-5889) for pricing information on this Software application.