UMC is dealing with more problems, but this time, it has nothing to do with El Paso Children's Hospital. It has to do with the way its employees deal with sterilization and infection control protocols. An agency that accredits over 20,000 U.S. hospitals has preliminarily denied UMC their accreditation because they found that employees were not being properly trained and not keeping up-to-date records in the hospital's sterile processing unit. That unit is key to preventing the spread of infections in surgeries.

To say that the unit is important is a gigantic understatement, and in the only Level 1 Trauma Center for 270 miles, it is pretty darned important that proper procedures are followed to the letter. CEO Jim Valenti said UMC's problems aren't of their own making because some of the surveyors of the accrediting agency dig a little deeper than others, and UMC was given bad recommendations in a mock joint commission survey.

If UMC knew that some surveyors were more lenient than others, why didn't they get a second opinion about the mock survey? With all the problems UMC has had, they need to go the extra mile in everything they do, or else risk getting called out for more problems that seem to be completely avoidable.

For the time being, UMC will not perform non-emergency or elective surgeries because of this latest bump in the road. If you have surgeries of this type scheduled at UMC, you can wait until they are out of the woods on this issue, or go to another hospital for your procedure. Emergency surgeries will continue to be performed at UMC.

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