Many nursing homes fail to meet hand-washing guidelines, Joint Commission finds

Share this content:
Many nursing homes fail to meet hand-washing guidelines, Joint Commission finds
Many nursing homes fail to meet hand-washing guidelines, Joint Commission finds

Editor's Note: This article has been updated from its original version to clarify the number of providers surveyed by The Joint Commission.

A third of Medicare/Medicaid-certified long-term care providers surveyed by The Joint Commission during the first half of this year struggled to meet basic hand hygiene requirements, according to data recently released by the accrediting organization.

As an accreditor, The Joint Commission collects information about operators' compliance with quality measures. Based on data for the first six months of 2013, 33% of long-term care operators in the major government insurance programs did not comply with the hand hygiene guidelines set by the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey included about one-sixth of the providers accredited by The Joint Commission's program for Medicare/Medicaid long-term care operators, a spokeswoman told McKnight's.

Poor hand-washing protocols contribute to the spread of healthcare-associated infections. A separate study, released Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed the steep cost of HAIs. Annual costs related to five major HAIs are about $10 million, according to the research team sponsored by the Texas Medical Institute of Technology in Austin.

Long-term care providers also are struggling to effectively manage the collection of healthcare information as well as provide resident education and training based on individual needs and abilities, The Joint Commission found.