A Steelton physician has been temporarily barred from practicing medicine after a state investigation uncovered some disturbing practices that were occurring in her office.
Members of the state Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI) and the state Department of Health (DOH) decided to temporarily suspend Dr. Maryjo Szada’s medical license on April 9.
Health inspectors visited Szada’s office and described conditions there as unsanitary. The inspectors found seven dirty metal speculums in the sink. Szada admitted that the speculums had been there for approximately one week without being sterilized, according to court paperwork. She also admitted to using Lysol liquid floor cleaner and Lysol spray to disinfect the medical equipment, including vaginal speculums. According to court paperwork, Lysol does not meet the minimum standards of high-level disinfection for semi-critical instruments, such as vaginal speculums, as set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
State officials say Szada solely used Lysol to disinfect medical equipment for at least the past year.
According to the order, Szada would then reuse the metal speculums on different patients after failing to meet the minimum CDC disinfection standards.
Additionally, Szada told investigators that she did not have an autoclave in her office to sterilize medical equipment.
State inspectors also found that Szada’s patient records failed to meet the board’s minimum record keeping requirements. According to the order, Szada relied on memory rather than relying on record keeping to treat her patients.
During their investigation, state officials found a urine sample in a refrigerator used to store medication and five specimens (one STD test, three pap smears and one marked “right groing”) on a table in Szada’s examination room. All the specimens had insufficient identifying information, according to the order.
Szada stated the samples and specimens had been sitting around for several days, and that she was unsure of the identity of the patients from whom they came, investigators said.
State officials also said that Szada sometimes took months to review outside laboratory and test results and schedule follow-up appointments with patients, would often not review test results until the patients called to complain, and sometimes never informed patients of test results.
In its order, state officials said Szada’s continued practice as a medical physician and surgeon would present immediate danger to public health and safety.
Szada was ordered to surrender her wallet card, registration certificate and wall certificate to the state. A preliminary hearing is scheduled within the next 30 days.
Szada also serves on the Steelton Borough Council.