In the May 24th issue of the Gazette appeared the following article, “State investigation clears Germantown abortion clinic”. Regrettably the article is factually inaccurate. Yes, the Office of Health Care Quality did investigate Germantown Reproductive Health Services in February 2013. On March 26, 2013, that office issued to the abortion clinic a “Notice of Current Deficiencies”. In its very first paragraph it stated quite plainly that the facility was NOT in compliance with the requirements of the Code of Maryland Regulations 10.12.01. The report, in its entirety, can be found at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s web site; it is in pdf format and can be downloaded. I link to it now.
Among the cited deficiencies of Germantown Reproductive Health Services are the following items:
- Nurses caring for sedated patients unable to document that they received adequate training.
- At least three individuals functioning as registered nurses did not possess valid Maryland licenses
- No policies were in place to ensure that staff were trained to transfer patients to hospitals in the event of emergencies.
- Single-dose medication vials were not discarded in accordance with regulations.
- Unlabeled pre-drawn syringes were found.
- Instruments were not properly cleaned and sanitized after usage.
The foregoing list is not exhaustive; additional shortcomings are listed in the report.
The Germantown abortion clinic was not the only one investigated by the Office of Health Care Quality. Sixteen of Maryland’s abortion clinics were examined during the February time frame. Of those sixteen, twelve failed the inspections. Again, the reports are found (in downloadable format) on the DHMH website. In fact, as the article states, four of these centers did have their licenses suspended due to the nature of the shortcomings found in those centers; details can be found in their individual reports.