According to a new federal study, surgery centers that offer same-day procedures have major infection control issues. Some of the potential culprits include the failure to wash hands, wear gloves and clean blood glucose meters. If that weren’t bad enough, researchers discovered that there were clinics that actually reused devices meant for one patient or dipped into single-dose medicine vials for numerous people.
The study’s findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which implied that these sloppy infection controls could be occurring in the country’s nearly 5,000 outpatient centers.
Among the centers studied, researchers found that 67 percent had at least one lapse in infection control and 57 percent were noted as having deficiencies. Researchers did not evaluate whether these problems led to infections in patients.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Melissa Schaefer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was quoted as saying, “these are basic fundamentals of infection control, things like cleaning your hands, cleaning surfaces in patient care areas. It’s all surprising and somewhat disappointing.”
Outpatient centers are a growing area of the U.S. healthcare system that conduct over 6 million procedures each year. These procedures range from exams to plastic surgery.
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