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The gynecologist was fined $1,000 for cleaning medical instruments in a dishwasher.
Friday, April 5, 2013
A third physician in a Salem practice has been fined $1,000 for using a dishwasher to clean medical instruments.
Dr. William Kevin Walsh , a gynecologist affiliated with LewisGale Physicians, was named in a consent order filed this week by the Virginia Board of Medicine.
Walsh agreed to the fine after two of his colleagues, Dr. John Harding and Dr. Christopher Keeley, received the same sanction following a hearing last month.
Although Walsh waived his rights to a hearing, he made the same assertions as the other two doctors: That there was no evidence of harm to patients caused by cleaning speculums used for gynecological exams in a dishwasher.
Based on the advice of their previous residency director, the three doctors established a process of washing the devices by hand and spraying them with a medical disinfectant before running them through a dishwasher used exclusively for cleaning instruments at the practice.
However, the doctors' office began using an autoclave, which disinfects medical instruments at much higher temperatures than produced by a dishwasher, after a LewisGale director of quality expressed concerns about the practice in July 2011, according to the Board of Medicine's order.
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