Outpatient Surgery Magazine

No Guarantees - March 2017 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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surgery. The hospital bought a second probe. It came up missing, too. How was this happening? Rumor has it they kept the third probe in a double-lock briefcase and handed it off to each shift supervisor. I don't have a criminal mind. I don't know how to launder money or run numbers or steal someone's identity online. I still haven't mas- tered basics like attaching a Word file to an email. But I want to know how you can steal 2 probes worth $10,000 each without someone noticing? What would the thief do with a probe? It's not like you could pawn it like a piece of jewelry. Surgical gray market? I started asking questions. It was explained to me that the gray market might operate like this. The thief sells the probe to an underground middleman for $5,000. A facility that needs to buy a probe calls a man about a probe. The man with the probe turns around and sells the probe he bought for $5,000 for $8,000 — turning a tidy $3,000 profit and saving the facility $2,000 in a used equipment purchase. In a prior life when I was the director of surgery at a hospital, pickups, needle holders and hemostats were always missing. Our counts were always correct, so I thought they were being thrown away. One Saturday I went to a flea market and there in a tent sat a scrub tech that worked in my department. He was selling surgical instruments. Long story short, he ceased working for the hospital very soon after that. Is the story of the missing probe true or just an urban legend? I don't know. Is there a theft ring going on? I don't know. If you have a theory on the missing "stuff," let me know. In the meantime, keep your belongings safe and your probes closer to you (eerie organ music, please). OSM Reach Ms. Watkins at pwatkins12@comcast.net. M A R C H 2 0 1 7 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 1 3 9

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