Hospital News Roundup For May 18
The Dublin City Council on Tuesday approved a plan to build either a 100-bed hospital or a smaller medical office building, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Joe Carroll -- president of the project developer, Triad Partners -- said his firm soon will know which facility will be developed. The firm has not yet contracted with a health care provider to operate the planned hospital, which would have an emergency department but would not be a trauma center.
Both plans would require approval from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (Kazmi, Contra Costa Times, 5/17).
The California attorney general last week filed a petition in Orange County Superior Court seeking to force Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Anaheim to release the names of two deceased patients as part of a state investigation of a pediatric cardiologist, the Orange County Register reports.
The state medical board's investigation of the physician began last year following a hospital inquiry into the physician's conduct in the care of 20 patients, including two who died. The medical board maintains it needs the patients' names to locate their families and obtain coroner's reports, according to the court filing.
Hospital officials said they only will release the names under a court order. A hearing is set for May 29 (Bernhard, Orange County Register, 5/12).
Methodist Hospital on Tuesday filed a formal protest against Sacramento County's endorsement of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in its bid for a trauma center designation, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The hospital said the county's recommendation was based on a "fundamentally flawed" analysis by a team of medical experts hired to review both hospitals' proposals for the designation. Kaiser scored higher on the team's review (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 5/17).
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation on Tuesday announced a revised proposal for a new medical facility and building in San Carlos, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
The new proposal calls for a smaller facility, with 91 hospital beds instead of 110 under the original plan (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 5/15). The proposal also reduces by 30% the number of physicians and nurses on staff and reduces the number of floors from five to four.
Cecilia Montalvo, vice president of strategy and business development at PAMF, said the group revised its proposal to address concerns from the City Council.
There will be several public hearings on the proposal this year, followed by a vote before the San Carlos Planning Commission and City Council (Winegarner, San Francisco Examiner, 5/16).
The California Nurses Association and nurses at Saint Agnes Medical Center allege the hospital is engaging in unfair labor practices by failing to meet staffing ratios, the Fresno Bee reports.
David Monkawa, assistant organizing director with CNA, said hospital officials have been harassing and intimidating some of the nurses after they launched a campaign this year to join the union.
The nurses on Monday received a $2-per-hour salary increase, which hospital officials said was not directly related to the nurses' efforts to unionize (Rodriguez, Fresno Bee, 5/16).
Officials at Tri-City Medical Center last week said 10 employees have been fired for two separate incidents involving photographs taken on cell phone cameras of a patient and patient test results, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Suellyn Ellerbe, the hospital's COO and chief nurse executive, said such actions violate federal patient confidentiality laws and hospital policy. Hospital policies also restrict the use of cameras and cell phones.
Ellerbe said the hospital did not notify patients in either incident because information had not been compromised. The employees reported that all copies of the photographs were destroyed, she said (Rodriguez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/12).