California Hospital News Roundup for Week of May 21, 2010
County-USC Medical Center, Los Angeles
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina (D) defended County-USC Medical Center against previous allegations that the hospital's emergency department patients faced excessive wait times, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports (Lin, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 5/18).
Last week, county health officials also disputed complaints about County-USC's wait times. However, officials confirmed allegations that hospital staff often failed to sufficiently protect patient privacy.
State regulators also are investigating the complaints against County-USC (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 5/15).
El Camino Hospital Los Gatos
On Wednesday, El Camino Hospital Los Gatos announced plans to launch a new men's health program focused on the treatment of non-cancerous prostate problems and erectile dysfunction, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
The program, which will operate in a new clinic, is scheduled to begin on June 7 (Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 5/19).
Kaiser Permanente Terra Linda, San Rafael
Kaiser Permanente recently submitted preliminary plans to the San Rafael Design Review Board for a seismic retrofit of its four-story parking structure and the demolition of an existing structure to make room for an additional four-story parking building, the Marin Independent Journal reports.
The hospital also has submitted preliminary plans to demolish a 14,740-square-foot portion of a general services building and construct a new 17,550-square-foot structure for its emergency department.
Kaiser will need to submit a formal application to the design board, which then would forward its recommendations to the city's Planning Commission for final approval. If the plan is approved by all parties, construction could begin next year (Upshaw Swartz, Marin Independent Journal, 5/18).
Laguna Honda Hospital, San Francisco
San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is set to reopen at the end of the summer, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The effort to rebuild and upgrade the hospital into a state-of-the-art facility will cost a total of $585 million, which includes $296 million from bonds approved by voters in 1999.
Laguna Honda is expected to be the first hospital in California to receive LEED certification for green building (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/19).
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar
Los Angeles County health officials said they could not substantiate seven of 11 allegations about substandard care at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Officials said their investigation "dispelled the claim that an organized cosmetic operation on the scale of a 'beauty salon' has existed in the NICU."
Investigators also interviewed 80 Olive View-UCLA workers and found that 16 had received some cosmetic services from a worker who admitted responsibility and was placed on leave (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 5/19).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Health care providers at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital have voted to leave Service Employees International Union and join the rival National Union of Healthcare Workers, the Monterey Herald reports.
After a three-week voting period, the hospital tallied 408 votes for NUHW, 242 votes for SEIU and 13 votes for no union affiliation.
Health workers' current union contract expires on Aug. 14, but hospital officials said they would consider negotiating a new contract earlier (Wallace, Monterey Herald, 5/18).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto
By the end of the month, Palo Alto city officials are expected to release a draft environmental impact report assessing $3 billion in expansion and seismic safety projects at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The report is expected to find that the projects are unlikely to be completed until 2016 at the earliest. Officials also do not expect the new buildings to be fully operational until 2017 (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 5/14).
West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, Los Angeles
This week, West Hills Hospital and Medical Center opened a new two-story, $60 million addition that includes an emergency department and critical care unit, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The 48,000-square-foot ED has 30 beds, while the critical care unit has 33 beds.Hospital president and CEO Beverly Gilmore said the addition aims to shift the hospital from a community facility to a regional health center (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 5/14). 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.