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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES TO 18 HOSPITALS 

Date: 8/18/2008 

Number: 08-44 

Contact: Suanne Buggy or Ken August (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that eighteen California hospitals have been assessed administrative penalties of $25,000 per incident from the state of California after a determination that the facilities’ noncompliance with requirements of licensure has caused, or was likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients.

“Ensuring all Californians receive quality patient care is our top priority,” said Kathleen Billingsley, Deputy Director of the Center for Health Care Quality at the California Department of Public Health.  “We will continue to work with California hospitals to ensure our shared goal of excellence in patient care.”

The following hospitals received penalties:

Anaheim General Hospital, Anaheim, Orange County.

The hospital failed to provide a safe environment by not ensuring medical devices were electrically safe and functioning within manufacturer’s guidelines. Further, the hospital did not ensure the safety of patients by preventing access to dangerous items and ensuring that the patients were protected from extreme environmental temperatures.

Anaheim General Hospital, Anaheim, Orange County.

The hospital failed to maintain the pharmacy’s refrigerated temperatures in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure stability, potency and safety of medications requiring refrigeration.

Coastal Communities Hospital, Santa Ana, Orange County.

The hospital failed to ensure the safety of a patient when an excessive dose of a medication was administered resulting in the patient’s death.

Desert Regional Medical Center, Palm Springs,  Riverside County.

The hospital failed to ensure the safety of patients when they failed to investigate a sexual abuse allegation.

Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo, Contra Costa County.

The hospital failed to ensure facility staff followed policies and procedures for the treatment of a patient with critically low laboratory test results. As a result of these failures, the patient died.

Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo, Contra Costa County.

The hospital failed to ensure that licensed staff were competent and trained to insert intravenous catheters for the administration of fluids and nutrition. The patient died as a result of the lack of competent insertion of the catheter.

Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, Fountain Valley, Orange County.

The hospital failed to ensure patient safety by not following its policies and procedures to ensure that retention of surgical sponges after surgery did not occur. As a result, a patient had to undergo a second surgery to remove a sponge that was left in the patient after surgery.

Grossmont Hospital, La Mesa, San Diego County.

The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when they failed to activate a stationary ventilator during a transfer of the patient from a transport ventilator resulting in the patient’s death.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Newport Beach, Orange County.

The hospital failed to ensure patient safety by not following its policies and procedures to ensure that retention of surgical instruments after surgery did not occur.  As a result, a patient had to undergo a second surgery to remove a surgical instrument left in the patient after surgery.

Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Riverside, Riverside County.

The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of its patients when it failed to prescribe, administer, and monitor medication in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications on safe use of medication.

Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Fresno, Fresno County.

The hospital failed to ensure pediatric patient safety by not establishing safe and effective systems to accurately and quickly determine pediatric doses of emergency medications.

Los Alamitos Medical Center, Los Alamitos, Orange County.

The hospital failed to ensure the safety of a patient when staff failed to use a seatbelt while the patient was in a wheelchair. The patient fell and died due to the fall.

Los Angeles County, Harbor, University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Torrance,  Los Angeles County.

The hospital failed to ensure the safety of patients when it failed to accurately label tissue specimens which led to unnecessary surgery for one patient and resulted in a delayed treatment of another patient.

Los Angeles County, Harbor, University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Torrance, Los Angeles County.

The hospital failed to provide for the health and safety of patients accessing treatment in the emergency department by not providing screening examinations and stabilizing medical care and treatment in a timely manner for two patients.

Los Angeles County, University of Southern California, Medical Center, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County.

The hospital failed to provide adequate nursing staffing for a suicide watch and meet the needs of a patient.

Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, San Bernardino.

The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when a potentially fatal overdose of a medication was administered to the patient.

Palomar Pomerado Health System, Poway, San Diego County.

The hospital failed to maintain its anesthesia equipment in proper functioning order. As a result, three patients experienced surgical awareness during surgical procedures.

Promise Hospital of San Diego, San Diego County.

The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of its patients by allowing an unlicensed staff person to function as a licensed nurse.

Saint Agnes Hospital, Fresno, Fresno County.

The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of patients by not ensuring a system was developed and implemented to indentify, report, investigate and control surgical site infections for cardiopulmonary surgeries.

San Gorgonino Memorial Hospital, Banning, Riverside County.

The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of patients when it failed to have the correct drugs for treatment of emergencies in the emergency department, post anesthesia care unit, surgery and radiology areas. Further, the hospital failed to have the appropriate equipment and supplies to treat pediatric patients in the emergency room to ensure appropriate emergency treatment and reduce the potential for death.

San Gorgonino Memorial Hospital, Banning, Riverside County.

The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of patients when it failed to supply emergency crash carts with necessary drugs to treat life threatening cardiac situations.  This failure resulted in a potential for death in the treatment of patients in emergency cardiac situations.

Scripps Green Hospital, San Diego, San Diego County.

The hospital failed to ensure the patient safety in the surgical department when a patient fell off an operating table during surgery.

The administrative penalties were issued under authority granted by Health and Safety Code section 1280.1 (Senate Bill 1312, Statutes of 2006, Chapter 895), which was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last year and took effect Jan. 1, 2007.

Facilities can appeal administrative penalties by requesting a hearing within 10 calendar days of notification. If a hearing is requested, penalties are to be paid if upheld following appeal. In addition to the penalties, the facility is required to implement a plan of correction to prevent future incidents.

All hospitals in California are required to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing general acute care hospitals. Hospitals are required to comply with these standards to ensure quality of care.

Further information about the administrative penalties, including each facility’s deficiency report and frequently asked questions, is available at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/facilities/Pages/Counties.aspx

 
 
Last modified on: 6/8/2009 12:07 PM