California Fines 10 Hospitals Over Health Code Violations
On Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health fined 10 hospitals for health code violations, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports (AP/San Jose MercuryÂ News, 3/3).
CDPH said the hospitals were penalized for errors that were "likely to cause serious injury or death to patients" (Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, 3/3).
CDPH issued $25,000 fines to:
- Anaheim General Hospital for improper food storage;
- Bakersfield Memorial Hospital for improperly functioning anesthesia equipment that might have caused patient injury;
- Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center for improper medication administration resulting in patient injury;
- Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata for not following proper radiation safety procedures and policies;
- Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae for not following its sponge counting policy, resulting in a sponge being left in a patient;
- North Bay Vacavalley Hospital in Vacaville for not following proper procedures to prevent patient falls;
- Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista for not having a safe, effective and timely system for dispensing and administering medications, something that might have caused a patient's death;
- Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital for not following its surgical policies and leaving a sponge inside a patient;
- Ventura County Medical Center's Santa Paula Hospital for leaving a sponge in a patient; and
- Western Medical Center in Santa Ana for not investigating an alleged assault in a timely manner.
The cited hospitals must submit a plan of correction to the state (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 3/3). The state will accept a payment schedule for the fines (Raine, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/4).
Since Jan. 1, 2007, the state has issued 71 such citations to 49 hospitals.
The hospitals have until March 13 to appeal the citations. However, no such appeal has ever been successful (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 3/3).
Ventura County health care officials said they plan to appeal the fine imposed on Santa Paula Hospital because the hospital's surgical team did follow its sponge counting protocol despite making the mistake (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 3/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.