California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of January 6, 2012
Loma Linda University Medical Center
Loma Linda University Medical Center has fired an employee who attempted to take home personal data on more than 1,300 patients and guarantors, Modern Healthcare reports.
The hospital said it learned about the potential breach on or around Dec. 19, 2011. Officials were unable to confirm whether the employee attempted to take home electronic health records or paper records. According to the hospital, the information that might have been exposed included birth dates, medical record numbers, addresses, driver's license numbers and some Social Security numbers (LaFave Grace, Modern Healthcare, 12/29/11).
Loma Linda officials said the hospital has secured the personal data and is offering one year of credit monitoring services to affected individuals (Barrie, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/28/11).
Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego
Next week, Scripps Mercy Hospital plans to start admitting patients to its new $41.3 million Conrad Prebys Emergency & Trauma Center, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The new center is part of a three-phase construction project that will double the size of the existing emergency department. The new facility will include 27 ED beds and a four-bed trauma unit with space for eight gurneys. The new ED will have 49 beds when all three phases of the construction project are complete in 2013 (Lavelle, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/4).
Tri-City Medical Center, Oceanside
Officials at Tri-City Medical Center recently unveiled plans for a three-phase, $593 million expansion of its Oceanside campus, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Larry Anderson, CEO of the hospital, said Tri-City Healthcare District has sufficient funds for the first phase of the construction project, which will involve the construction of a 57,500 square-foot medical office building, a new parking lot and a parking structure.
Anderson said that the district will need to secure loans for the second and third phases of the expansion project. The second phase will involve the construction of a new power plant and new hospital buildings, and the third phase will involve the construction of a seven-story tower with 216 medical, obstetrics and surgical rooms (Scharn, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/30/11).
UC-Irvine Medical Center
A recent CMS inspection found that UC-Irvine Medical Center failed to program drug pumps to prevent a medication error that "could have contributed" to the death of a patient, the Orange County Register reports.
In July 2011, a UC-Irvine kidney transplant patient received an anti-rejection drug at an overly fast rate and later died of undetermined causes. After the medical center reported the medication overdose, CMS cited the hospital for placing the patient in "immediate jeopardy" -- the most serious category of patient harm -- but lifted the citation after UC-Irvine changed how it used the drug pumps.
The medical center now will face an unannounced CMS inspection to determine whether it has corrected the drug pump problems (Perkes, Orange County Register, 12/22/11).
UC-San Diego Medical Center
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that UC-San Diego Medical Center has agreed to pay a $115,000 civil penalty to settle a complaint over the hospital's screening process for immigrant job applicants and employees, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Last month, DOJ filed a lawsuit claiming that UCSD Medical Center requires non-citizen job applicants and employees to provide excessive documentation proving they are eligible to work.
As part of the settlement, the hospital has agreed to adopt new policies to verify workers' immigration status. The hospital said it now is in full compliance with federal regulations (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/4).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.