California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of April 24, 2015
Atascadero State Hospital
The family of a patient at Atascadero State Hospital who was allegedly strangled by his roommate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. The suit alleges that hospital staff was aware that the roommate had been violent and had threatened other patients.
A spokesperson for the Department of State Hospitals -- which oversees state hospitals and also is named as a defendant in the lawsuit -- did not respond to questions about the case (Pemberton, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 4/22).
Daughters of Charity Health System
The Daughters of Charity Health System is planning to cut 4% of its workforce, or 280 of its current 7,000 employees, over the next few months, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports.
The layoffs are part of an effort to reduce expenses and "better position [the] hospitals" during the search for a buyer, according to officials (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 4/21). In March, Prime Healthcare Services withdrew its offer to buy the cash-strapped system's six safety-net hospitals (California Healthline, 4/17).
John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek
John Muir Medical Center has opened Contra Costa County's first pediatric intensive care unit, the Contra Cost Times reports.
The $10 million center, which was created under a partnership between John Muir Health and Stanford Children's Health, will allow the hospital to conduct more complex procedures, such as orthopedic surgeries and leukemia treatment (Tsai, Contra Cost Times, 4/20).
San Francisco General Hospital
San Francisco Department of Public Health officials are formalizing security protocols for San Francisco General Hospital in response to a 2013 case in which a patient was found dead in a hospital stairwell weeks after disappearing from her room, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
SFDPH Security Director Basil Price has been creating a new security system infrastructure, and the hospital has since made improvements to security programs, such as expanding reviews of hospital training records and an enhancing its partnership with the local Sheriff's Department (Dudnick, San Francisco Examiner, 3/24).
The California Nurses Association plans to hold strikes at five Sutter Health hospitals on April 30, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Union members said they are striking over inadequate staffing and patient safety. However, Sutter spokesperson Bill Gleeson said that "Sutter Health hospitals meet or exceed the state's safe staffing ratios and routinely rank in the top quartile for quality" (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 4/22).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.