California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 31, 2008
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Martinez
New procedures at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center have reduced wait times for patients in the emergency department, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Under new policies, patients with noncritical injuries often are seen by a triage nurse and a doctor shortly after their arrival, rather than meeting with a non-medical representative to complete the registration process first.
Hospital leaders tested the process for a year and a half prior to its September implementation (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 10/28).
St. Joseph Health System
Last week, St. Joseph Health System announced that it had reached a tentative verbal agreement on a 14-month contract with Blue Shield of California, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
The agreement allows Blue Shield members to continue using St. Joseph facilities (Rose, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 10/25).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, Salinas
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital has launched the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program, which will allow Monterey County heart patients to undergo surgery locally by Stanford physicians, the Monterey County Herald reports.
SVMH also has acquired a Da Vinci surgical robot for its cardiac surgery program (Hennessey, Monterey County Herald, 10/24).
Daughters of Charity Health System, Sutter Health
On Wednesday, employees represented by the Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers-West staged a one-day strike at four hospitals owned by Daughters of Charity Health System and five Sutter Health facilities, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
About 6,000 union members participated in the strike, maintaining that they want a stronger role in contract negotiations with the hospital chains (Fernandez, San Jose Mercury News, 10/29).
Tri-City Healthcare District, San Diego County
Last week, Tri-City Healthcare District directors decided to push to replace two main buildings at the Oceanside campus rather than retrofit them to meet state earthquake safety standards, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The district has not resolved how the project would be funded or whether it can qualify for waivers from the state for the 2013 compliance deadline (Sherman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/23).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.