Another dirty instrument found: State may reopen Detroit Medical Center investigation

A dirty surgical tool was delivered to a Detroit Medical Center operating room just one day after the state wrapped up its investigation into DMC's sterile processing department, according to a report from The Detroit News.

DMC was under state and federal scrutiny for issues in its central sterile department and infection control practices. The facility, owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, submitted correction plans to CMS and the state and passed a surprise CMS inspection in November and a surprise state inspection on Dec. 22. Passing the state inspections means it resolved the matter to the state's satisfaction and that "the hospital is in compliance with regulations designed to protect the health and safety of patients who entrust us with their care," a DMC statement reads.

However, one day after that, a laparoscopic grasper instrument The Detroit News described as "caked with old blood and brown ooze" that was marked as sterile made its way to the OR, according to the report. It was intercepted before it could be used on a patient, and DMC reported the incident to Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The state is now investigating that incident. "Once the bureau's thorough review of the information is complete, it will determine the next course of action," Jason Moon, a spokesman for LARA, told The Detroit News.

DMC told The Detroit News it is "reviewing the circumstances surrounding the event<" as "part of our ongoing performance improvement efforts."

Becker's has reached out to DMC for a comment.

DMC's CEO, Joe Mullany, left his post earlier this week, and the medical center tapped Anthony Tedeschi, MD, as his replacement. No reason for Mr. Mullany's departure was provided — but in addition to state and CMS investigations, the medical center also plans to lay off 1 percent of its workforce to reduce expenses.

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