All 129 Veterans Health Administration facilities that perform colonoscopy procedures were found to be in compliance with operating processes during a recent inspection that followed up on an earlier report showing equipment had not been cleaned properly.
The flexible endoscope equipment used in the procedures and the stations in which they are cleaned were in compliance with federal directives during the August inspection, the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General said in its report. The office conducted 42 unannounced inspections in May and interpreted from those findings that most of the facilities were not properly cleaning equipment, which could lead to infections. The latest report showed all facilities are in compliance, with one facility being cited for improperly documented paperwork.
The VA said in a news release that it found improper sterilization of endoscopes at three medical centers led to possible infection risks among 10,000 patients in the last year and it has been committed to fixing the problems. “This report shows VA’s unparalleled quality assurance programs identified a risk and successfully corrected that risk on a national scale,” said acting Under Secretary for Health Dr. Gerald M. Cross in a written statement.