Federal Manager's Daily Report

fedweek.com: OSC Urges Broader Reading of Whistleblower Protections Image: Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

The Office of Special Counsel has credited a whistleblower’s disclosure for the VA’s actions to ensure that water used in dialysis treatment is adequately tested for chlorine levels at the John L. McLellan Memorial Hospital in Little Rock, Ark.

A health technician had alleged to the OSC that VA staff “failed to conduct and record the results of chlorine concentration tests of dialysis water systems. The whistleblower also alleged that VA employees regularly consumed food and beverages in the dialysis unit clinical area, in violation of agency policy,” the OSC said, adding that many dialysis patients are immunocompromised and at an especially high risk of infection.

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The OSC referred the allegations to the VA’s medical inspector, which confirmed the allegations, and in response the VA “implemented corrective actions including updating the facility’s standard operating procedures for chlorine testing of the dialysis water systems and by conducting an audit of the testing log until achieving 100 percent compliance for six consecutive months.”

“In addition, the agency is providing education to staff concerning dialysis procedures and the prohibition on food and beverage in designated clinical area,” the OSC said.

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