Indiana VA hospital unveils building for sterilizing surgical tools, remodeled 4th floor

Six years after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs temporarily suspended services at its Fort Wayne, Ind.-based hospital for patient care issues, the hospital has unveiled a building addition for sterilizing surgical instruments and renovated inpatient areas, according to The Journal Gazette.

The VA spent $14 million remodeling the hospital's fourth floor and building the sterile processing service as part of $150 million worth of projects at the 68-year-old campus, said System Director Michael Hershman.

In 2012, the VA suspended all inpatient services in Fort Wayne for over a month for what the VA inspector general called substandard patient care. The inspector general cited staffing shortages, lapses in clinical judgment and leadership failures. Inpatient care was restored in phases over the next year as VA officials took corrective actions to address the issues.

The hospital previously sent its surgical, dental and podiatry equipment to its sister facility for cleaning. The local campus had not had instrument sterilization capabilities since the 1990s, said Steve Askew, the hospital's chief of sterile processing.

The VA will start building a primary care floor on top of the sterile processing service next year.

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