California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of February 25, 2011
Children's Hospital Oakland
On Tuesday, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health levied a $10,350 fine against Children's Hospital Oakland for failing to develop sufficient safety protocols following certain potentially hazardous incidents, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
In one incident, an armed man entered the emergency department and briefly took an employee hostage. In another incident, a patient with a gunshot wound was dropped off at the front of the hospital instead of at the ED entrance (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/23).
The citation states that the hospital lacks a clear policy on bringing dropped-off victims inside, which "caused unnecessary delay and potential security exposure to employees." It also notes that the hospital does not provide sufficient training on dealing with workplace violence (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 2/22). Hospital officials said they plan to appeal the violations (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/23).
Children's Hospital of Orange County
Children's Hospital of Orange County has received a $30 million gift -- the largest in its history -- to help fund a $585 million expansion expected to open in 2013, the Orange County Register reports.
The funds come from the estate of Robert Tidwell, a retired investment banker who died in 2009. Half of the gift will go toward clinical programs, and half will go to the construction project. The expansion, which has been underway since 2009, will include a 425,000 square-foot patient tower with seven operating rooms and a pediatric emergency department. The hospital also plans to pay for the expansion with operating income, loans, state bonds and fundraising (Perkes, Orange County Register, 2/23).
Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura
On Thursday, Community Memorial Hospital celebrated its new $8 million Coastal Communities Cancer Center, which opened in November, the Ventura County Star reports.
Located across the street from the hospital, the 23,000 square-foot cancer center is part of the hospital's efforts to complete a $320 million facility upgrade that is expected to be completed by 2014. The cancer center provides oncology and hematology services and houses a cancer resource center for patients and their families (Molina, Ventura County Star, 2/22).
El Camino Hospital, Mountain View
On Wednesday, El Camino Hospital announced that it had received a $4 million gift to help establish a clinical research program at the Fogarty Institute of Innovation on its Mountain View campus, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
Edward and Pamela Taft, residents of Los Altos Hills, provided the gift, which the hospital said is one ofÂ the largest in its history. The funds will go toward the 2,000 square-foot Taft Center for Clinical Research, which is scheduled to open this month. The center aims to help patients, physicians and the community obtain access to treatments for cancer, heart disease and other conditions (Kim, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 2/23).
Inland Valley Medical Center, Wildomar
Two years after building an expanded emergency department and a new intensive care unit, Inland Valley Medical Center has opened the new facilities, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The addition of 26 ED beds and the new 11-bed intensive care unit had remained closed until this week because Inland Valley Medical Center had faced citations from the California Department of Public Health. However, DPH recently announced that Southwest Healthcare System -- which runs the hospital -- has "demonstrated progress towards implementing systemic improvements" (Hill, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/23).
Kaiser Permanente, Vacaville
Max Villalobos -- senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente's Napa/Solano area -- recently announced that the health system plans to develop a Level III trauma center at its Vacaville hospital by the end of the year, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 2/18).
Currently, Solano County patients in need of trauma care are sent to the Level II trauma center at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek or to the Level I center at UC-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento (Murphy, Vacaville Reporter, 2/17).
Mercy General Hospital, Sacramento
Last week, the final steel beam was set into place for Mercy General Hospital's new $170 million heart center, which is scheduled to open in summer 2012, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The 123,350 square-foot Alex G. Spanos Heart & Vascular Center will include 91 private patient rooms, four cardiac operating rooms, an upgraded cardiac intensive care unit and a new cardiac rehabilitation area (Lindelof, Sacramento Bee, 2/17).
San Leandro Hospital
The Eden Township Healthcare District's board of directors recently agreed to a move that would allow the district and St. Rose Hospital in Hayward to disclose information about their business operations, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Eden Township officials said the agreement is the first step in discussions about St. Rose taking over the district's San Leandro Hospital. St. Rose officials declined to comment on the matter, but said they support a collaborative approach to providing access to health care for the community (Metinko, Oakland Tribune, 2/20).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
Nurses at the Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital voted to allow their union leaders to call a strike if contract negotiations do not move forward, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Lorie Johnson, president of the Committee of Recognition of Nursing Achievement, said that 77% of the 2,700 registered nurses represented by the union support a possible strike. The nurses have been without a contract since March 31, 2010 (Dungan, San Jose Mercury News, 2/18).
Meanwhile, Palo Alto officials have released an environmental impact report, finding that an expansion of Stanford's hospitals will create seven "significant and unavoidable" impacts on the Palo Alto and Menlo Park area, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The $3.5 billion project would add 1.3 million square feet to the Stanford and Lucile Packard hospitals, as well as the Stanford School of Medicine. According to the environmental report, the expansion is expected to exacerbate traffic congestion, add to noise pollution levels and have other effects on the area (Dungan, San Jose Mercury News, 2/17).
St. Rose Hospital, Hayward
St. Rose Hospital recently completed a two-year, $30 million hospital renovation and retrofit, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The expansion includes 30 new single-patient suites and nursing stations equipped with integrated patient monitoring systems. According to officials, the hospital's upgrades also bring the 49-year-old facility into compliance with state seismic mandates through 2030 (Kurhi, Oakland Tribune, 2/20).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.