California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of May 6, 2011
Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland
Alameda County Medical Center recently started implementing its electronic health record system and IT infrastructure project, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The $75 million project will cover implementation costs, rebuilding the hospital's IT infrastructure and replacing billing and patient management systems. The medical center is allocating up to $30 million of its own operational funds to the project over the next 10 years. Hospital officials say they aim to bring parts of the new system online next year (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 4/29).
Children's Hospital Oakland
On Thursday, registered nurses at Children's Hospital Oakland kicked off a five-day strike over a contract dispute, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The California Nurses Association -- which represents about 750 nurses at the facility -- organized the strike over employee contributions to health care benefits (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 5/5). This will be the second strike at Children's Hospital Oakland since the nurses' contract expired in July 2010.
Erin Goldsmith, spokesperson for the medical center, said the hospital has hired 125 replacement nurses to work during the strike. Hospital officials said they expect operations to continue at nearly normal capacity with no change in the delivery of emergency department services. However, the hospital has rescheduled some elective procedures (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/5).
Community Hospital Long Beach
MemorialCare Health System, a Fountain Valley-based five-hospital system, recently acquired Community Hospital Long Beach, Modern Healthcare reports.
As part of the agreement, MemorialCare acquired the lease for Community Hospital from the city of Long Beach. In addition, MemorialCare named Diana Hendel to serve as CEO of the 71-bed Community Hospital. Hendel also serves as CEO of MemorialCare's Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children's Hospital (Evans, Modern Healthcare, 4/30).
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto
Hewlett Packard recently announced that it will provide $25 million over 10 years to help Lucile Packard Children's Hospital move forward on an expansion project and fund new research, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
About $21 million of the pledge would go toward the hospital's expansion plans, which involve adding 100 patient beds, more operating rooms, laboratories and other facilities. The remaining funds would go toward a joint research effort aimed at improving treatment protocols and safety procedures (Bailey, San Jose Mercury News, 5/2).
Menifee Valley Medical Center, Sun City
Menifee Valley Medical Center has received accreditation from the Joint Commission, a national hospital rating group, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
According to a hospital release, the commission conducted an unannounced site visit at Menifee Valley in January. During the visit, the commission evaluated the hospital's compliance with certain patient care standards, such as infection prevention and medical management (Wesson, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/29).
Mercy Hospital of Folsom
Later this month, Mercy Hospital of Folsom plans to open its new $15 million progressive care unit, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The unit will cater to patients who do not need intensive care, but who need more monitoring and nursing services than patients in general acute care hospitals. The 22,400 square-foot expansion will increase the hospital's capacity from 85 beds to 106 beds (Daysog, Sacramento Bee, 5/4).
Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, Riverside
Riverside's Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center recently became the first facility to receive a loan through a revised Department of Housing and Urban Development program, Payers & Providers reports.
The program allows hospitals to refinance their current debt without requiring them to use their loan for capital projects. The HUD program is providing Parkview with a $29 million loan, which will replace the bridge financing that the hospital obtained last year from a consortium of local health plans, physicians and other entities. The consortium provided the financing to prevent Parkview from being taken over by the hospital system Prime Healthcare (Payers & Providers, 5/5).
Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital
Sutter Health officials recently announced plans to close Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital's birthing center and instead provide inpatient labor and delivery care at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
For now, Sutter Auburn will continue to provide labor and delivery services while officials develop a transition plan. The Auburn facility currently sees an average of one birth per day, down from a peak of 573 per day in 1998. Hospital officials said the changing demographics of the surrounding community could be contributing to the decline in Auburn's birth rate. About 30 nurses and technicians could lose their jobs when the birthing center closes (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/3).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.