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ERLANGER MEDICAL CENTER 975 E 3RD ST CHATTANOOGA, TN 37403 Oct. 6, 2015
VIOLATION: INFECTION CONTROL OFFICER(S) Tag No: A0748
Based policy review, observation, and interview, the facility failed to follow infection control policies and procedures for one patient (#14) of one observed having blood glucose monitoring (a procedure to measure the amount of glucose in the blood) performed.

The findings included:

Review of the facility's Infection Control Policy number 8304.040 dated 06/14, revealed, "...clean the exterior surface of the glucometer (a portable electronic device used to measure blood glucose levels) using the appropriate hospital approved disinfectant (bleach wipe) after each use..."

Observations of blood glucose monitoring of patient #14 on the West Wing 3 nursing unit, on 9/30/15 at 3:20 PM, revealed Registered Nurse (RN) #1 obtained a blood sample for the blood glucose level by finger stick using a glucometer in the patient's room. Continued observation revealed RN #1 removed her gloves and carried the glucometer back to her mobile computer work station without cleaning the glucometer. Continued observation revealed RN #1 left the uncleaned glucometer on the workstation while she administered medications to a second patient (Patient #13) at 3:28 PM, and the glucometer was not cleaned until 3:34 PM.

Interview with RN #1 on 9/30/15 at 3:34 PM, at the WW3 nurses station, confirmed the nurse did not clean the glucometer after use on Patient #14.

Interview with the facility's Infection Preventionist on 9/30/15 at 4:00 PM, in the Quality/Risk Management Office, revealed glucometers must be cleaned with bleach wipes immediately after use.