Training lapses may have led to rise in C. diff infections at VA hospital: 5 findings

Failure to adequately train housekeeping staff may have contributed to growing rates of potentially deadly infections at Loma Linda, Calif.-based Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Hospital, according to a report released June 18 from the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General.

 Five findings from the report:

1. The report confirms a separate 2018 VA investigation, which found the medical center's executives hid information from staff on the presence of Legionella bacteria in the water system. Data from the center found 33 positive water test results for Legionella from 2017 and 2018.

2. The new report also found the medical center was unclean and had furnishings in disrepair. The center's Environmental Management Services Department had no standard procedure for cleaning and facility sanitization.

3. The lack of housekeeping training may have been a contributing factor in a two-year increase in Clostridium difficile infections at the medical center, with 32 cases in 2016 and 36 in 2017.

4. Five hundred and thirty-four medical center staff members failed to consistently undergo required blood-borne pathogens training during the period of May 2016-March 2018.

5. The hospital received one star from the VA in 2018 for its medical facilities, which is the lowest possible rating.

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