Los Angeles County Health Department To Require Hospitals To Report Disease Outbreaks
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services will require hospitals to submit written notification of outbreaks of infectious diseases after Good Samaritan Hospital did not report an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease for several months earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reports. The health department received "strong criticism" from the county Board of Supervisors after nine patients at Good Samaritan became ill. Some of the patients became ill after the hospital identified the outbreak. Health department Director Dr. Thomas Garthwaite said that he plans to conduct unannounced inspections to ensure that hospitals adhere to the new requirements. The inspections could begin in the next three months and would require the health department to hire additional staff members. The names of hospitals that fail to report disease outbreaks would be made public, Garthwaite added. Since the Legionnaires' outbreak at Good Samaritan, Garthwaite has required county hospitals to inform him of outbreaks and has decided which cases to make public (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 7/10).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.