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Another accreditation agency investigating University Hospitals after fertility clinic malfunction

Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2019-03-28 15:56:47-04

News 5 continues to investigate the malfunction at University Hospitals' fertility clinic, having learned another national accreditation agency is investigating the hospital

The Joint Commission just confirmed one of their offices is now investigating this on behalf of patient safety concerns. This comes after our reports of an accreditation agency investigating UH's compliance. 

Medical accreditation agencies require on-site inspections, "scientifically rigorous" requirements and sets of quality standards. 

For accreditation, a hospital must maintain them.

The first external investigation was announced by The College of American Pathologists.

"We just don't know. We have to pursue our investigation of this and I'm certain the facilities are pursuing their own investigation," Dr. Paul Bachner, an Adviser with the College of American Pathologists Accreditation Committee told News 5. 

The group accredits 8,000 labs across the world, most of them require accreditation, but we learned reproductive labs, like the one in UH, do not. 

University Hospitals reproductive lab is one of 350 that elects accreditation, making it mandatory they follow very specific requirements. 

Requirements CAP is now investigating to determine if UH is in compliance. 

"I find it very hard to believe that in this day in age there aren't better safeguards and practices that can be put in place," Dr. Paul Bachner told News 5. 

RELATED: Here's everything we know about the University Hospitals fertility storage malfunction

Another accreditation agency joined Tuesday with their own investigation. 

The Joint Commission confirmed it is looking into the malfunction too.

Their Office of Quality and Patient safety is reviewing concerns and explained via email that action may be taken. The Joint Commission may conduct an unannounced or unscheduled on-site evaluation of the organization, officials said.

Both agencies called the malfunction rare.

And while University Hospitals still isn't addressing questions, or saying if the issue in the storage facility holding thousands of eggs and embryos malfunctioned due to mechanical failure or human error, doctors nationwide working at other accredited fertility clinics are weighing in.

"If the clinic burnt to the ground, we would sift through the ashes and that tanks would be intact. Because they're very, very secure, but that being said, they have to be maintained," Dr. Timothy Gelety, with the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, said. 

"They could still be on compliance even if there was a failure of a particular instrument, or for that matter, if there were human error involved," Dr. Paul Bachner told News 5. 

Both agencies investigating University Hospitals will allow the hospital to address concerns brought up in their investigation, should concerns be raised, before changing their accreditation status.

RELATED: Couple's last chance to have biological child vanishes after refrigerator malfunction at UH

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