Problems sterilizing hospital instruments in Vegreville's St Joseph's Hospital also existed to some extent at every other acute care facility under the region's health authority, a new report concludes.
The Health Quality Council of Alberta blamed a sterilization and superbug scare in Vegreville in Marchon a "strained working relationship" between the hospital and the East Central Health authority, confusion over who was responsible for infection control, and the "lack of a widespread patient safety culture."
The report, released Wednesday in Calgary, included more than 100 recommendations, most aimed at thesmall, 25-bed hospital east of Edmonton.
However, the council said its investigation revealed a "spectrum of deviation" from national standards in sterilization rooms at the 11 other acute care facilities in the health region.
About 3,000people were potentially exposed to HIV and hepatitis due to improperly sterilized equipment, but council executive director John Cowell said St. Joseph's Hospital has been dragging its feet when it comes to processing tests resulting from that scare.
Health and Wellness Minister Dave Hancock said he was taken aback by that finding.
"My instruction in March was that they were to provide the resources necessary to get this done and the updates that I've been getting is thatthe process isproceeding, so I'm surprised by a statement in the report that specifically says we haven't applied enough resources to it. And I will be looking into that."
After the report's release, Hancock revealed that two administrators would oversee the health region's operations, replacing the board.
He also ordered the Capital and the David Thompson health regions to take over sterilization processes for East Central, and announced the establishment of provincial standards to prevent infections throughout Alberta's health system.
The province took over control of St. Joseph's Hospital in March after the medical officer of health for the East Centralregion shut down the sterilization room and closed the hospital to acute care admissions, citing an outbreak of MRSA and problems sterilizing hospital equipment.