Detroit Medical Center cited for improper training of sterilization personnel

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A state investigation of Detroit Medical Center's central sterile processing department has found a lack of a "robust, consistent, repeatable, comprehensively documented and well-maintained training system" for new and existing CSP employees.

The Bureau of Community and Health Systems, within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and CMS launched an investigation into DMC's sterile processing department after The Detroit News published a series of articles detailing 11 years of problems within the department that led to contaminated tools delaying surgeries and putting patients at risk of infection.

The state's report was released Thursday. In addition to a lack of standardized training, the investigation found "no consistent process or procedure" for sterilizing instruments, a "lack of collaborative sharing, communication and process consistency between the operating rooms and the CSP Department," and several employees did not attend the few training sessions that did occur.

According to DMC, the hospital will submit a corrective action plan based on the state's findings, but has already started to implement changes in its central sterilization processing unit.

"We have already taken many actions to address the findings, including leadership and structural standardization, improved education, training and competency documentation, and improved auditing and event monitoring," the hospital said in a statement. "We will take all actions necessary to correct the findings and based on the results of the survey, we believe the community should continue to have confidence in the care they receive at DMC … Nothing is more important to us than the safety and quality of the services we provide."

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