To suggest that looking for legionella bacteria is the sound way to prevent future outbreaks is at best simplistic, and at worst is a gross abdication of responsibility to patients ("Report Issued After Pittsburgh Outbreak Finds VA Medical Facilities' Record Poor on Legionnaires' Regulations," Aug. 1).
The reason that the Pittsburgh VA hospital had the most Legionnaires' disease cases was management's decision to discontinue implementing standard procedures that, in the past, had successfully prevented infections at this facility. These standard procedures include assessments and documentation of legionella test results and chloramine feedrates and residual concentrations.
The true test of leadership is when managers understand their responsibility and act accordingly. The VA can't move fast enough to implement industry standards and leading performance metrics to minimize the risk of infection.
The writer is an expert in managing legionella risk in commercial and industrial water systems and is an adviser on the ASHRAE legionella prevention standard.