OIG Seal
Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General
Michael J. Missal, Inspector General

Report Summary

Title: Healthcare Inspection – Alleged Sterile Processing Service Deficiencies, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington
Report Number: 13-01351-296 Download
Issue Date: 9/3/2013
City/State: Seattle, WA
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Healthcare Inspections
Report Type: Healthcare Inspections
Release Type: Unrestricted

The VA Office of Inspector General Office of Healthcare Inspections conducted an inspection to assess allegations regarding operations within the Sterile Processing Service (SPS) at VA Puget Sound Health Care System (the system) Seattle, WA. We substantiated that instruments were processed in a pan that was not approved for the sterilizer in use; however, we did not substantiate that this caused the instruments involved to be unsterile. We did not substantiate that leadership knowingly covered-up and failed to disclose processing problems associated with equipment. We did not substantiate that the system reused single-use devices; however, we did find that the system resterilized single-use devices that had not yet been used. We did not substantiate that standard operating procedures and staff competency folders are not accurate and current or that SPS had not provided sufficient staff training. However, we did find deficiencies in the manner in which the files were organized. We concluded that the system generally complied with clinical and administrative processes within SPS. We found areas needing improvement in the management of single-use devices and the maintenance and tracking of SPS staff competency files.