Local News

Cape Fear no longer at risk of losing federal funds

Posted November 7, 2008 1:18 p.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2008 5:33 p.m. EST

— The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has found Cape Fear Valley Medical Center to be in compliance with its regulations relating to sterilization of surgical instruments for patient use, the hospital said Friday.

Cape Fear Valley had been in danger of losing its provider status for Medicare and Medicaid after more than 150 patients were potentially exposed to staph infection from improperly sterilized instruments.

But the hospital said that federal surveyors recommended Thursday that the hospital be removed from an "immediate jeopardy" status of losing its federal funding after finding the hospital has taken appropriate measures to correct problems that led to the medical mistake.

New procedures in place include stronger identification of the area where sterilized surgical instruments are stored and a logbook to document when the final step of steam sterilization occurs, the hospital said.

It has also implemented a two-person check of all surgical instrument trays to verify sterilization before the trays can be used, and another check has been added in operating rooms to verify the sterility of the instruments as part of the “timeout” procedure conducted prior to the start of surgery.