Veteranclaims’s Blog

March 15, 2011

VAOIG Finds Problems with Reuseable Equipment at 45 VA Medical Facilities

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 8:20 pm

Combined Assessment Program Summary Report Evaluation of Reusable Medical Equipment Practices in Veterans Health Administration Facilities

Link to full Report at: Report Number 10-00135-121, 3/14/2011

The purposes of the evaluation were to determine whether facilities: (1) complied with local and selected Veterans Health Administration (VHA) standards for reusable medical equipment (RME) sterilization and high-level disinfection, (2) provided and documented annual training for employees who perform RME reprocessing activities, and (3) assessed and documented annual competencies for employees who perform RME reprocessing activities. We evaluated RME processes at 45 VHA medical facilities during Combined Assessment Program reviews conducted from January 1 through September 30, 2010. We identified six areas that needed improvement. We recommended that the Under Secretary for Health, in conjunction with Veterans Integrated Service Network and facility senior managers, ensures that: (1) standard operating procedures (SOPs) be current, consistent with manufacturers’ instructions, and located within the reprocessing areas; (2) employees consistently follow SOPs, supervisors monitor compliance, and annual training and competency assessments be completed and documented; (3) flash sterilization be used only in emergent situations, supervisors monitor compliance, and managers assess and document annual competencies for employees who perform flash sterilization; (4) appropriate personal protective equipment be donned before entering and worn in decontamination areas; (5) ventilation systems be inspected and filters changed quarterly in all reprocessing areas and that temperature and humidity levels be monitored and maintained within acceptable ranges in sterile storage areas; and (6) processes for consistent internal oversight of RME activities be established to ensure senior management involvement.

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