California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 1, 2010
Citrus Valley Medical Center, Covina
Citrus Valley Medical Center nurses recently voted 471-306 to retain representation by the California Nurses Association, according to an official with the National Labor Relations Board, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.
About 90% of the 860 eligible nurses voted. The labor board is expected to certify the results within seven days, unless objections are filed on the election process (San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 9/24).
Del Norte Clinics, Yuba City
On Tuesday, Del Norte Clinics broke ground on its new $2.4 million health care facility in Yuba City, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The 14,000 square-foot center will include 26 exam rooms and four rooms for specialty care services. It is expected to serve an estimated 10,000 Sutter County residents annuallyÂ (Glover, Sacramento Bee, 9/25).
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center of Santa Rosa
On Oct. 1, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center of Santa Rosa is scheduled to open a new five-story hospital wing that will conclude a $233 million expansion project that began in 2003, the North Bay Business Journal reports.
The new wing will double the size of the emergency department and include new turnaround space for ambulances. Overall, the entire expansion project is expected to increase the number of hospital beds from 117 to 167 (Verel, North Bay Business Journal, 9/27).
Loma Linda University Medical Center
During a May inspection, CMS identified two immediate-jeopardy cases in which Loma Linda University Medical Center put patients at serious risk, according to a 98-page report released last week, the Redlands Daily Facts reports.
One of the cases involved Loma Linda's failure to stock a sufficient amount of a certain medication. The other case involved the hospital's failure to implement an effective system for evaluating patients seeking to transfer to Loma Linda's emergency department (Nelson, Redlands Daily Facts, 9/27).
Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors learned that Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center is continuing to face problems related to overcrowding and long wait times, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.
A report presented to the board found that the hospital's emergency department was overcrowded 98% of the time during August. It also noted that average wait times increased from 11 hours and 11 minutes in July to 12 hours and 29 minutes in August.
Carol Meyer, chief network officer for the county Department of Health Services, said patient demand has increased because the hospital has fewer beds at its new earthquake-safe facility. She added that County-USC is taking steps to address overcrowding (Lin, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 9/28).
Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Napa
Officials at Napa's Queen of the Valley Medical Center say construction has started on an expansion project that will increase the number of intensive care unit beds by about 20%, the North Bay Business Journal reports.
After the 72,000 square-foot expansion project is complete, the surgery department will relocate from the west building to the new surgical pavilion (Verel, North Bay Business Journal, 9/27).
Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego
On Oct. 10, Rady Children's Hospital will admit its first patients to a newly constructed four-story, 280,000 square-foot acute care pavilion, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The new $260 million building will increase the total number of beds from 288 to 442, making Rady Children's Hospital the largest pediatric acute-care facility in the state. The new pavilion also will include private, glass-walled rooms for critically-ill infants in the intensive care unit (Lavelle, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/23).
San Joaquin General Hospital, French Camp
San Joaquin General Hospital ended its fiscal year with a $19.2 million deficit, but losses slowed toward the year's end, the Stockton Record reports. The shortfall is $7.3 million larger than initially budgeted.
Although the hospital lowered staffing costs and collected more from patient accounts, it also saw a decrease in overall patients and an increase in uninsured patients. Hospital officials say they hope some planned restructuring changes will improve the hospital's financial health (Johnson, Stockton Record, 9/30).
Sutter Health, Santa Rosa
The California Nurses Association, two district hospital boards and an environmental group have filed a lawsuit alleging that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors relied on a flawed environmental analysis when it approved Sutter Health's plans to build a new $284 million hospital north of Santa Rosa, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. The lawsuit is seeking a court order to block further construction on the hospital until all legal requirements are resolved (Wilkison/Kovner, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 9/27).
Last week, Sutter Health formally broke ground on the planned 82-bed hospital, which is slated to replace Sutter's seismically unsafe facility on Chanate Road. The new hospital is expected to open in fall 2014 (Verel, North Bay Business Journal, 9/27).
Valley Medical Center, Santa Clara County
On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $3.5 million contract increase for a consulting firm tasked with helping to improve operations at Valley Medical Center, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The board agreed to increase its contract with New York-based Alvarez & Marsal from $1.5 million to $5 million through December 2011. County Executive Jeff Smith says the additional funds are necessary because the consulting firm expects to add five or six additional projects for the hospital system (Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 9/28).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.