Indeed, the original committee had considered a study in the January New England Journal of Medicine which found that ChloraPrep "is superior to cleansing with povidine-iodine for preventing surgical-site infection." The committee discounted the findings, however, because the study was funded by ChloraPrep's corporate parent, Cardinal Health.
The committee concluded: "Given the lack of clear evidence in support of one skin preparation over another and the experts' agreement, it is recommended that this specification be deleted from Safe Practice 22: 'Preoperatively, use chlorhexidine gluconate 2% and isopropyl alcohol solution as skin antiseptic preparation, and allow appropriate drying time per product guidelines.'"
NQF Staff Felt Uncomfortable
It was during this process, Greiner recalls, that relations between the NQF and Denham became strained. "When this Safe Practice was going through ad hoc review, he (Denham) was very interested, and there was something about that that made the staff feel uncomfortable. He was just very interested in this particular Safe Practice, which was one of 34, and he wanted to be on the ad hoc committee."
She adds, "You know, when a committee says this needs to be further examined, and one of the chairs says he wants to be involved, and we say, 'No, I don't think so,' and he's still very interested in it," it raised suspicions.
"[So] we took steps to change our relationship with him," Greiner says.
From that point on, she says, Denham "did not work on any of our committees."
Greiner says that at no time did Denham inform the NQF of his relationship with the maker of ChloraPrep.