June 3, 2011

Westport Ambulatory Surgery Center Fined, Placed On Probation

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The state health department has fined and reprimanded an ambulatory surgery center in Westport, after suspending its license in May, for violations ranging from failing to ensure that registered nurses were present during surgeries, to failing to properly clean operating instruments.

In a May 24 consent order signed by the owner of the Center for Ambulatory Surgery in Westport, LLC, the Department of Public Health imposed a $4,000 fine, a reprimand and two years’ probation on the facility, which performs cosmetic and other outpatient surgical procedures. In addition, the DPH required that the center hire a clinical consultant to review procedures and recommend improvements in a number of areas, including infection control, nurse staffing levels, operating room procedures and patient assessments.

The consent order follows an interim order, imposed May 6 by the DPH, that suspended the center’s license to operate, pending a review of reported problems “which may pose a health risk to the public,” the DPH order said.

The center, which previously had been cited for violations in July 2009, was cited in May for a number of lapses, including: failing to hold regular meetings of the governing board; lacking proper credentialing information for doctors and nurses; failing to ensure that safeguards were in place for proper patient and surgical site identification; failing to maintain a sanitary and fire-safe environment; and failing to properly track infections.

Among the violations noted by inspectors were “used and soiled” surgical instruments found in a sterile reprocessing room; the use of a cleansing solution that had expired in 2006 to clean instruments; and a “cluttered” recovery room area. The center also was cited for failing to ensure that pre- and post-operative nursing assessments of patients were completed, or that pain assessments were done.

The Center is located at 32 Imperial Ave., Westport.

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