The report, by the Office of Healthcare Inspections for the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General, is based on findings gleaned during an inspection of the 230-bed hospital in June. The inspection was prompted by allegations of unsanitary conditions in the operating room (OR) at the hospital, which is located in West Haven, Conn.
"We found that cleanliness of the OR could not be assured due to inadequate staff resources, incomplete and inconsistent procedures, poor supervision and training of Environmental Management Services (EMS) staff, and lack of oversight," a summary of the report states.
"We also found that safeguards were inadequate for ensuring patient and employee safety when infectious patients requiring special precautions were scheduled for OR procedures concurrently with noninfectious patients," it continues. "We also identified issues related to maintenance of the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system and insect control in the OR."
"Although our findings substantiated an increased risk to patients and staff, we found no conclusive evidence that the environment of care deficiencies in the OR resulted in negative patient outcomes."
The VA Connecticut Healthcare System, which manages the hospital, issued the following statement Wednesday in response to the report:
- We are committed to providing veterans with the highest quality care in the best patient care environment. We will continue to work with our team to make improvements to the environment and processes based on the IG recommendations and VA standards.
- The report is a thorough and honest snapshot from an inspection that occurred in June 2013. The IG report states that it found no evidence that the environment of care deficiencies in the OR resulted in negative patient outcomes.
- It is important to note that many of the issues identified were corrected as noted in the report before the inspectors left the facility or shortly thereafter.
- The amount of detail in the report and the corrective actions being undertaken demonstrate the seriousness with which VA Connecticut responded to the IG report. It also underscores the commitment of VA — both at the national and local levels — to provide veterans the best possible care environment.