California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 18, 2013
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland
Last week, Kaiser Permanente confirmed a five-year, $25 million donation to help fund the first phase of a $500 million reconstruction of Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports. Children's Hospital hopes to raise $90 million in philanthropic donations for the $190 million initial phase of the project.
Kaiser Permanente said that it donated $5 million toward the reconstruction in 2012 and that it intends to donate $5 million annually for four subsequent years, pending annual approval from Kaiser Permanents' board of directors (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 10/10).
Kern Medical Center
Last week, Kern Medical Center announced that it will freeze hiring, reduce overtime, seek voluntary furloughs and re-evaluate staffing levels in an effort to cut $6.5 million from its budget, AP/U-T San Diego reports. Hospital officials said they were not considering cuts to employees' pay or benefits.
In response, the Kern county chapter of the Service Employees' International Union said it would like to participate in collective bargaining on any changes that could affect hospital staff (AP/U-T San Diego, 10/10).
San Francisco General Hospital
UC-San Francisco Medical Center is conducting an "independent review" of safety and security at San Francisco General Hospital after the body of a patient who had been missing for 17 days was found in a hospital stairwell last week, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 10/11).
The patient -- a 57-year-old woman -- was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 19 with an infection and was found to be missing from her hospital room on Sept. 21. On Oct. 8, a member of the hospital's engineering staff found the woman's body in a stairwell used as a fire escape at the hospital (California Healthline, 10/11).
UCSF Medical Center's review will compliment an investigation by the San Francisco Sheriff's Department and will focus on the hospital's safety and security systems, particularly those involving patient safety, elopement and tracking ("Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 10/11).
San Leandro Hospital
This week, the California Nurses Association approved a new contract for 200 nurses at San Leandro Hospital, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports. The contract will take effect when the hospital's management transfers from Sutter Health to Alameda Health System on Oct. 31.
The new contract runs through 2015 and includes a 3% pay raise over that time, as well as improvements to retiree health and pension benefits (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 10/16).
Sutter Health, Sacramento
On Oct. 11, the College of Health Information Management Executives presented Sutter Health with the 2013 Innovator of the Year Award for outfitting its clinical workforce with 1,000 mobile tablets to use in home health and hospice locations throughout northern California, Modern Healthcare's "Vital Signs" reports. CHIME also awarded Philip Chuang -- the mobile tablet project leader and Sutter's information systems director -- the Bill W. Childs/SAIC Innovator Scholarship, which is worth $5,000 (Conn, "Vital Signs," Modern Healthcare, 10/14).
Temecula Valley Hospital
On Oct. 11, the California Department of Public Health gave Temecula Valley Hospital license to open on Oct. 14, following several years of legal delays, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The hospital received permission to provide patient care and a list of services, including emergency care, surgical suites, private patient rooms and 24-hour visitation.
The hospital has hired about 400 employees, including nurses and support staff, who will be called in as patients arrive (Claverie, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/11).
Washington Hospital, Fremont
Last week, the Washington Hospital Board of Directors approved a 2% pay increase over the course of two years for the hospital's 683 registered nurses, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports.
The California Nurses Association represents the nurses, who will receive the raise in a 1% pay bump retroactive to July 1 and another 1% increase effective July 2014. The two-year contract expires July 1, 2015.
Washington Hospital also negotiated a separate deal with 25 engineers and utility workers (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 10/15).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.