State launches probe of Detroit Medical Center's sterile processing woes

State officials launched an investigation into Detroit Medical Center hours after The Detroit News published more than 200 pages of emails and internal reports citing physicians' concerns for patient safety due to problems in the medical center's sterile processing department, according to The Detroit News.

A spokesperson for the state's Bureau of Community and Health Systems  responsible for the investigation declined to divulge details regarding the breadth and scope of the investigation, according to the article.

The announcement came just hours after The Detroit News published its investigation into the issue on Aug. 25. The News found, after digging through years of internal DMC reports, that improperly sterilized tools complicated numerous surgeries and led to dozens of canceled operations over an 11-year long time span.

DMC officials publically declined requests to comment on the original News story, citing an earlier statement saying the system has now outsourced management of instrument sterilization to Birmingham, Ala.-based Unity HealthTrust.

DMC CEO Joe Mullany sent a memo to physicians outlining talking points to use when addressing the public about the report.

The memo said the DMC "disagrees with the many assertions made in the article" and urged physicians to "apologize for any concerns the article may have caused," according to the article.

DMC officials acknowledged there have been problems with the medical center's central sterilization department, but noted no patients were harmed, according to the article.

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