That's what happened at Exeter last month. A hepatitis outbreak infecting at least 31 patients this spring was linked to one infected healthcare provider accused of diverting drugs and allowing syringes he allegedly injected in himself to be reused on patients in the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab.
When state officials on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last month conducted their complaint inves tigation, they discovered that in addition to poor narcotic drug control, the hospital did not have a policy "for the cleaning of glucometers between patient use," according to the report.
To date, no Exeter Hospital patients are known to have been infected through unsanitary use of glucose monitors.
The report found, however, that personnel "on five nursing units, 3 East, 4 West, ICU, emergency dept. and the PCU (progressive care unit) identified no consistent methodology for the cleaning of glucometers after each patient use, some units reported cleaning only after use in precaution rooms, and one unit demonstrated a sample document indicating that the cleanings were done in the morning and at night," the report said.