Four Hospitals Investigated
The Department of Health Services is investigating four hospitals in Riverside County for allegedly diverting some narcotic drugs, state and hospital officials said Tuesday, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
A state official said the investigation involves three facilities owned by Hemet-based Valley Health System hospital district -- Hemet Valley Medical Center in Hemet, Menifee Valley Medical Center in Sun City and Moreno Valley Community Hospital -- and Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley. However, an official with RCMC said the state cleared the hospital after investigators for two days reviewed records and interviewed staff members.
James Maki, CEO of Valley Health System, said three nurses -- none of whom currently are employed by the hospital system -- diverted narcotics in November 2005, and in January and February or March of this year. Maki said hospital officials reviewed patient records and did not find any indication of patients being harmed.
DHS spokesperson Norma Arceo said the investigation began on about May 1 after DHS received an anonymous tip. DHS alerted the state Department of Justice, the Board of Pharmacy and the Board of Registered Nursing, according to Arceo (Beeman, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/17).