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Detroit Med Center: CMS Approves Plan To Correct Problems

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Detroit Medical Center says the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved its plan to address problems with its sterilization of surgical instruments.

The medical center announced Tuesday the plan includes include the formation of a surgical improvement council and task force to oversee instrument sterilization. It says the plan also addresses better policies and procedures for cleaning, processing and sterilization of instruments and enhanced training and monitoring.

The medical center has admitted that unclean surgical tools sometimes forced doctors to delay procedures, including heart surgery on a 7-month-old girl, although it insists that no one was harmed.

In a June 2015 email, Children's Hospital chief surgeon Dr. Joseph Lelli said patients were being put at risk. "Promises just aren't cutting it,"Lelli wrote in what was his third warning in just six months. Two years earlier, he sent a similar email asking: "Who has the will to solve this problem that has not been solved in the 11 years I have been at CHM?"

The problems were reported in August by The Detroit News and listed as deficiencies in an inspection conducted Aug. 29 by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Under state and federal law, hospitals aren't required to tell patients if they were exposed to improperly sterilized instruments.


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