NQF Distances Itself From Safe Practices Co-Chair

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , January 23, 2014

That Safe Practices advisory urged hospitals to buy CareFusion's ChloraPrep compound to prevent surgical site infections even though there was no evidence that the solution, chlorhexidine gluconate 2% and isopropyl alcohol, was the best skin disinfectant available.

In a statement his spokesman emailed me Wednesday, Denham maintained that the government's allegations "are blatantly false"

False or not, the NQF is now clearly embarrassed by the matter. It has issued a statement clarifying its dealings with Denham, including a clear message that it wants nothing more to do with him.

"As this [draft recommendation] was being promulgated to hospitals across the country, we got an inquiry from 3M [a competitor to CareFusion in the surgical disinfectant market] that raised concerns," Ann Greiner, the NQF's vice president of external affairs told me Wednesday.

The NQF formed an ad hoc review committee, which found that the evidence just wasn't there to recommend the ingredients in ChloraPrep as part of Safe Practice #22.

The NQF released a March, 2010 letter from 3M that said studies never evaluated whether its similar product, DuraPrep, was a better surgical site disinfectant than ChloraPrep, although another study said that it was. "3M believes that these studies suggest the need for additional clinical study before the NQF Safe Practices can recommend one prep over another," The letter stated.

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