November 7, 2018

How Safer Companies Exceed Expectations and Navigate Healthcare Regulations


A Tangled Web – Navigating Healthcare Regulations

Healthcare regulation is a tangled web of rules, standards, and laws. It is critical we not only follow standards but work to exceed them to ensure safety and satisfaction for patients, hospital staff, guests and our own associates. Whether it’s food staging and handling, temperature control and labeling or food management during a natural disaster, it’s our job to meet these standards at all times.

I’ve worked in the food service industry since 1976, starting as a dietitian. Now, as Morrison’s Director of Standardization, my team and I ensure we stay compliant and exceed standards among that “tangled web” I mentioned. I’m supported by an incredible team; together, we develop training materials and policy manuals to help associates not only meet all regulations but thrive in their day-to-day operations.

Safer Companies Pay Attention to Training, Playbooks and Planning

If you manage or lead a team in any industry, you understand success begins with proper training. For our associates, training begins with our Power of Food Playbook. Much like playbooks used by professional football teams, our Power of Food Playbook has many sections. Each section teaches new associates about our expectations and serves as an ongoing reference for all managers and supervisors.

Each Playbook section provides critical information that helps us keep exceeding expectations even under challenging conditions. In our Emergency Preparedness Playbook, for example, managers share their best practices that allowed them to continue operating during hurricanes Harvey and Irma last year.

How Managers in Healthcare Facilities Can Keep Their Team Safe During a Natural Disaster

Here’s how Morrison managers helped prepare to ensure it was business as usual during a natural disaster:

  • Get a walkie-talkie from the hospital, so you are informed about the latest developments within the facility. We don’t want to send an associate into an area that is flooded or unsafe.
  • Meet with your client and find out their experience with disasters. If they have none, take the lead in guiding them through a plan. Put it in writing and work with them to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
  • Establish a schedule for feeding staff and patients. Be the first to present the plan and have your client approve it.
  • In the event there is no power, purchase propane grills, stoves and fryers so hot food can still be prepared. And make sure you have the connections and tools to hook them up.
  • And don’t forget the simple solutions. For example, purchase bottled water, protein bars, and granola bars.
  • For hurricanes and other unexpected events, planning is critical. This includes planning for regulatory compliance, as well.

Safer Companies Conduct Self-Reviews and Unannounced Reviews

Self-reviews provide a primary layer of accountability

Morrison managers conduct self-reviews on seven different topics including culinary, the FDA manual labeling law, patient dining and clinical nutrition. The kind of self-reviews you do for your team and industry may look different, but self-reviews have helped us exceed expectations and promote safety partly because our managers complete them so often. In the past 18 months, our managers have completed about 950 regulatory self-reviews – a great indicator that they’re working diligently to meet all regulations.

That said, giving your people the tools to succeed in conducting self-reviews is critical. Our team has made it very easy for our Managers with an employee app associates can access on an iPad. The net result is everyone is better prepared.

Unannounced Reviews provide an additional layer of accountability

Even though our managers demonstrate the ability to meet all regulations, we take safety and compliance one step further by conducting unannounced reviews. The goal of unannounced reviews is to make sure all our accounts are up to speed and prepared.

Safer Companies Collaborate Well

Reviews are great (and necessary), but we don’t stop there. We work with experts within our company to develop solutions and put together a plan to train accounts to fix problems and identify blind spots. These experts are invaluable; they can let my team know what tools are needed to best help accounts comply with key regulations.

For example, the Culinary team put their ideas together and developed a series of five-minute training “bursts” to providing training on a variety of topics, such as thermometer calibration and hand hygiene, to help their colleagues meet various regulations.

There Are No Shortcuts to Creating a Safe and Compliant Company

In a highly regulated industry, there are no shortcuts. We adhere to the highest standards to ensure safety and always remain “inspection ready,” because our managers are empowered to lead the way. It requires consistent training, planning, developing of resources, collaboration and accountability. No matter what it takes, safety and compliance are always worth the investment because our people, and the people we serve are our highest priority.

Join the Morrison Family

Morrison is a Compass One Healthcare operating division within Compass Group and has more than 1,200 registered dietitians, 300 executive chefs, and 20,000 professional food service team members. Apply for team member or management positions in one of the best companies to work for today.


Written By:

Pam Garnett

Director of Standardization

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