Surgery Center of Oklahoma Blog

August 9, 2011

Infection Rates

Filed under: Uncategorized — surgerycenterok @ 3:43 pm

Someone sent me this article. The gist of the article is that surgery centers are lax on infection control procedures.  A whole host of folks are quoted in the article saying that surgery centers need to be held to the same high standards that hospitals are.  If you have been following this blog you are laughing right now.

You should be asking yourself “why are state health departments cracking down on surgery centers with these infection control procedure violations now?”  If this has been an issue why the crackdown now?  Well it just so happens that our wonderful federal government that has more money that it knows how to spend gave state health departments funds to conduct this very activity in the last “stimulus package.”  I know this because when the Oklahoma State Department of Health came to our surgery center I asked them about this.

Why would the gangsters in Washington want to give money (that they don’t have) to state health departments to attempt to discredit surgery centers?  Notice two things:  hospitals were not included in this crackdown and they are reporting on departures from procedures, not infection rates.  Could politics be involved?  Think any money changed hands from the hospitals to our wonderful leaders in D.C.?  Or maybe there is a promise of future bribes like the American Hospital Association’s million dollar contract with former Oklahoma Senator Don Nickels who shortly after leaving the senate set up a lobbying company.  The AHA was his first customer and this contract was on the heels of his offering extremely anti-competitive surgery center crushing legislation.  Ahh…business the D.C. way!

What you will not see is a comparison of infection rates between surgery centers and hospitals.  This would be devastating information for the hospitals.  This type of press release just shows how desperate the hospitals are to avoid having to compete with surgery centers.

We have published our infection rates online.  I would encourage our hospital friends to be transparent not only about their pricing but also about their infection rates.  Focusing on breaches of procedure is a smoke screen meant to prevent folks from looking at results.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

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