Dust earns evil eye from hospital surveyors

Staff at University of Missouri Health Care have apparently been busy dusting. According to officials, violations of infection control standards have been corrected. Many of the problems, according to a CMS report, involved layers of dust that had collected.

"They found dust and dirt in places they didn't like," MU Health CEO Jim Ross told the Columbia Tribune. A 47-page CMS survey report included the following among 66 findings:

  • In a same-day surgery suite, 100 spots on the floor were sticky and a layer of thick dust coated the top horizontal surfaces of an anesthesia cart and a fluoroscopic camera located above the surgical table.Wiping the surfaces made dust particles fall on the floor and the surgical table.
  • In a pre-op room, when supplies such as sterile gloves and suction tubing were pulled out of a storage bin, clumps of dust clung to the bottom of the packaging.
  • When a bare hand wiped the thick layer of dust covering the horizontal base of a portable ultrasound machine, thick rolls of dust appeared.
  • Sticky adhesive residue from a partially removed sticker remained on an instrument table used to set up a sterile field for procedures.

Other violations relating to poor maintenance of the physical environment included dirt, food debris and dust that blackened the corners, borders and tile grout around the perimeter of the kitchen and opened packages of endotracheal tubes on an anesthesia cart.

The survey was triggered by a former MU Health employee's complaint. Eight CMS surveyors were on site for five days in November.

Ross said that hospital officials expect a follow-up inspection by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on behalf of CMS. and he seemed untroubled by the survey findings. In fact, his wife had surgery at the hospital after the report came out, he said.

To learn more:
- here's the report that lists infection control violations
- here's the Columbia Daily Tribune article

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