Federal investigation reveals infection issues following orthopedic surgery at Sparrow Carson: 7 notes

Practice Management

A federal investigation found infection issues were rapid after orthopedic surgery at Sparrow Carson in Carson City, Mich., according to the Lansing State Journal.

Here are seven notes:


1. Investigators examined nine orthopedic surgeries where patients had to return to the hospital to have revision surgery, an incision or wound drained or surgical site infection treatment. All of the cases were in 2017.


2. Following complaints from nurse anesthetist Jonnie Vanderhoef, the orthopedic cases were reviewed. Mr. Vanderhoef cited Raymond Allard, MD, as the orthopedic surgeon failing to provide appropriate care; however, the federal investigation did not identify the surgeon.


3. The orthopedic surgeon assigned to the case packed and stitched gauze into the patient's infected surgical wound leading to the infection. When asked why he would do that, the surgeon responded with "in the old days," that was the treatment method.


4. After the investigation, investigators reported Sparrow Carson failed to maintain an "ongoing infection control program" and failed to ensure surgical site infections were documented, reviewed and evaluated between January 2017 and October 2017.


5. Sparrow Carson was notified it would lose its Medicare partnership and reimbursement if it did not submit a plan of correction. The notice from CMS came days after Mr. Vanderhoef filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital.


6. In February, Dr. Allard's privileges at Sparrow Carson were voluntarily suspended. The hospital's CEO also resigned at the time. The departures can be seen as the hospitals plan of correction.


7. Sparrow Carson declined to comment on the employees leaving due to investigations or whether it had similar infection problems among other hospitals within the health system.


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