DENVER – The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System (ECHCS) and the U.S. Air Force Academy’s 10th Medical Group (10MDG) are notifying 267 patients who have undergone various gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures between June 1st, 2016 and September 12th, 2016 at the Joint Ambulatory Surgery Clinic located at the Academy that they may possibly have been exposed to infection.

The notifications come after clinic leadership learned a staff member diverted from established pre-cleaning procedures for an instrument used in gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures.  The staff member omitted one step in the pre-cleaning process, however high level disinfection of all scopes was completed according to manufacturer guidelines.

“Our top priority is to ensure our patients are safe,” said Sallie Houser-Hanfelder, Director of VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System. “Although there is a very small chance patients were even exposed to infection, it is our practice to notify those under our care to the slightest of risks.”

Every patient who has undergone a gastrointestinal endoscopy at USAFA during the period indicated will be contacted by either an Air Force or VA provider and provided information on the potential risks. Of the 261 patients potentially impacted, 206 were under the care of the 10th Medical Group, the remaining 61 patients are affiliated with the VA.

The clinic has placed all GI endoscopy procedures on hold pending complete resolution of this issue.  In addition, the VA and 10th MDG are coordinating with the endoscope manufacturer to provide retraining and recertification on the cleaning of scopes.  All other procedures performed at this clinic are unaffected.

The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System and 10th Medical Group have partnered since 2011 to provide outpatient surgical services at the clinic on the Academy to veteran patients in Colorado Springs.

The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System is proud to have a patient safety program that finds and responds to this kind of situation, and we regret and sincerely apologize for any worry or inconvenience this may cause our Veterans.  Our staff, along with the 10th Medical Group is taking actions to ensure this situation is not repeated.

The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System is a Joint Commission-accredited facility serving Veterans in eastern Colorado and parts of Kansas. The VA Medical Center is located in Denver, Colorado and the Community Based Outpatient Clinics are located in: Alamosa, Aurora, Golden, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, La Junta, and Lamar, CO. There are Primary Care Telehealth Outreach Clinics in Burlington and Salida, CO, an ambulatory surgical center at the Air Force Academy, two Community Living Center Units, one in Pueblo (40 beds) and one in Denver (60 beds), and along with the Department of Defense and Veteran Benefit Administration, an Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) Center at Fort Carson, CO. For more information, please visit http://www.denver.va.gov/

 

Daniel W. Warvi

Public Affairs Officer

VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System

Denver VA Medical Center (00)

1055 Clermont Street

Denver CO 80220

(303) 393-5205 Office

(720) 245-1550 Cell

(303) 393-2861 Fax

Daniel.Warvi@va.gov