The Case of Dr. Chadwick and Useless and Expensive Regulations Gone Too Far!
By: Dr. Phil Taverna
Regulations and laws are way out of control. And the more lawyers we have and the more government we expand the more regulations you will have and the more useless they become.
Some idiot decided that it would be a good idea to spore test sterilizers in healthcare facilities. One problem with all these regulations is that it does not directly affect the average person. Unless you own a business or own apartments the average person is not directly affected by the regulations, that doesn’t mean you don’t pay for them, it just means you don’t have to deal directly with the government regulations.
So this organization the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a major component of the Department of Health and Human Services. It started out over 60 years ago on a $10 million dollar budget and now they want to conquer disease all around the world. At least that’s what they say.
Granted if there is an outbreak of some kind of goofy disease, we want the government out there protecting us. Will that actually happen, we don’t know. The politicians and their families will get the vaccination first, will there be enough left for you and your family?
But some idiot for the CDC writes up some guidelines and in there they recommend and do not require that all sterilizing machines should be tested with a spore tester on a weekly basis. To the lay person, why not. But in reality to do so would have no basis and it makes no sense.
Remember when I wrote about all the antibiotics that were consumed and paid for by people for prophylactic reasons and now that has been reversed. The same holds true here. I would investigate the CDC and find out if someone from the spore testing industry lobbied for this regulation. Was anybody paid off? Spore testing costs about $100 a year for a monthly test. There are 200,000 dentists in the country so that equates to about a $20 million dollar industry. Wouldn’t you like to have a piece of that action? That’s based on a monthly test, Massachusetts wants it tested weekly!
So with a stroke of a pen someone is making some real serious money. That’s only dentists. And that is assuming one dentist per office and only one office per dentist. What about all the other health professionals? So this is how the government creates useless jobs. And by the way, you the patient pays for that extra fee each and every time you or your insurance company pays for your healthcare. So the stupidity effects you indirectly.
Among the professionals there is a debate as to whether this should be weekly or monthly. Wouldn’t you like to be the lucky patient that gets the unsterilized instruments. So if you were really serious you would test every load of instruments. It would be stupid but if you were serious whose the idiot that determines that once a week or once a month is adequate. It would be like playing Russian Roulette if this precaution was necessary. Do you pay to have the brakes on your car checked weekly?
If you were really serious about protecting the public, you might want to start by testing the instruments. There was no testing done. Absolutely not. No testing was done. So they don’t know if spore testing will have any effect whatsoever on the outcome. Someone sat on the toilet and made this recommendation because it sounded nice, but common sense says it makes no sense. But it opens the door to harassment of our health care providers, and in the end it will cost you a bundle.
Stated another way, does this recommendation which is not required by the CDC guarantee that the instruments used are sterilized. And if the spore test is not done, is the result improperly sterilized instruments? The issue should be are the instruments sterilized? In order to know that you would need to test the instruments! The spore test does not achieve that.
The sterilizer that is used in my office comes with a cassette and it is all automatic. You pop the cassette in and it runs through its cycle and at the end it tells you immediately if the instruments are sterilized. My machine has 27 fail safe measures. And we have used it for well over a decade without any errors. It has never failed the spore test.
So I called the testing company and asked them how often do they get a failed test and what was the cause. A failure was very rare. And when there was a failure it was human error and not the machine. Now this makes the requirement of spore testing even more stupid then first thought.
So now we are not testing the machine we are now testing the person working the machine. So we are doing this only once a week or once a month. I think you could be the stupidest person on the planet and you would realize this testing makes no sense.
First off if someone was going to run a spore test, wouldn’t they make sure they did it correctly. Hell, what would stop them from running the spore test with the same sample 2 or three times. I bet that test strip would show no growth.
There are 2 main reasons the test would fail for human error. The first is that the operator did not wait for the cycle to be completed. And the second is the machine was over-loaded. So when CDC only recommended this testing, they realized the testing itself was bogus. The machine works fine every time, there would be no consistent basis for testing if it comes down to human error. If the doctor needs an instrument in a hurry, what is to keep the attendant from taking the instruments out before the cycle is complete. Does it mean the instrument is not properly sterilized? Prove it?
If the sterilizer has a cassette, it would be impossible to overload, because you wouldn’t be able to fit the cassette in the sterilizer.
So the bottom line in the case of Chadwick is that they wanted to take his license away for 6 months because he failed to do a spore test weekly. So this doctor spent thousands of dollars to save his right to practice dentistry.
And after all that the Supreme Court of Massachusetts rules that this is malpractice. Keep in mind that at no time has the Court proved that the instruments were not sterilized and that any harm came from using the instruments. The legal system is taking bogus regulations to a new and dangerous level!
Again this shows the world of transformation. Instead of a fair country based on fairness and prosperity, we have become a country ruled by lawyers whose only purpose is to penalize the citizens.
In the old days the board was made up of a few dentists and their main concern was conducting standardized tests to license dentists so they can provide health care services to the masses. Their big concern was dealing with dentists who may have fallen under the influence of drugs and alcohol. But now the Boards have been transformed to include a horde of lawyers. And their main concern is to justify their outrageous expense by prosecuting innocent dentists for bogus regulations.
I would hope that all the people in Massachusetts will write to their representatives and reverse this abuse of power. If the Board wants to pass a law or regulation that a spore test must to be done weekly or monthly, all fine and good. But they don’t. And like a judge that sits on our liberal benches they stretch regulations into violations that must be paid in the thousands.
If they would pass a law, or a regulation it would be found in any court to be bogus. Let the board show the world the studies that show that sterilizers that are spore tested monthly are more apt to produce sterilized instruments then those that are not.
If they can’t prove that then the malpractice and abuse of power lies with the Board and the Courts and not the dental profession.
If we could eliminate all the bogus legal costs that are associated with Healthcare, my guess is your healthcare premiums would be reasonable. Let’s make a lawyer rich today, keep passing bogus and expensive regulations.
Dr. Phil Taverna owns and operates his own website.