California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of March 7, 2008
The state Mental Health Commission last week asked Contra Costa County supervisors to request a report on violence and attempted suicides in Contra Costa Regional Medical Center's psychiatric unit, the Contra Costa Times reports.
After a 2005 inspection, CMS had threatened to withhold $300 million in federal funding from the hospital unless steps were taken to reduce violence. Federal officials, who inspected the facility again in January, said last week that the hospital had successfully implemented its corrective plan.
The commission made its request after hearing reports that a patient had attempted to strangle another patient since the January inspection (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 3/1).
Next month, the Los Angeles Free Clinic will change its name to the Saban Free Clinic, in honor of a $10 million donation from philanthropists Haim and Cheryl Saban, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The gift will be used to create an endowment, according to Abbe Land, the clinic's co-director (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 3/3).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics' expansion into Redwood City is taking longer than expected, but a training and conference center has been built and opened, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
Stanford said it planned to move a number of outpatient departments, including orthopedic surgery and dermatology, to the former Excite At Home campus in Redwood City by late 2007. The university said the project is scheduled for completion in early 2009 (Rauber, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 3/3).
St. Joseph Hospital is being investigated by the California Department of Public Health for mistakenly performing a knee-repair surgery on the incorrect knee, the third "wrong-site" procedure to occur at the hospital since January 2006, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The other two mistakes involved making an incision on the wrong side of a patient's head and inserting an ear tube in the wrong ear.
Raymond Casciari, St. Joseph's chief medical officer, said the hospital has reinstituted a "top-to-bottom training program" (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 3/1).
On Monday, nurses at San Leandro Hospital and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center's Berkeley and Oakland campuses voted to allow their union to call a 10-day strike, the East Bay Business Times reports. The three facilities are part of the Sutter Health system.
The California Nurses Association said scheduling of meal, rest and bathroom breaks is the key issue in the strike. However, Sutter said the union voted for the strike because its contract with Sutter does not permit CNA to negotiate a single contract for all Sutter hospitals. CNA contracts with other hospital chains include such a provision.
The union has not given a timeline for the strike but is required to notify the hospital 10 days in advance (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 3/4).
Meanwhile, about 700 nurses at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, another Sutter facility, voted on Tuesday to resume a strike after two work stoppages that cost nurses thousands of dollars in regular wages, the San Francisco Examiner reports (Rosenberg, San Francisco Examiner, 3/5).
CNA also planned to hold strike votes this week and next week at:
- St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco;
- Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley;
- Sutter Delta in Antioch;
- Sutter Marin General Hospital in Greebrae;
- Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa; and
- Sutter Novato (East Bay Business Times, 3/4).