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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES TO 13 HOSPITALS 

Date: 5/20/2009 

Number: 09-46 

Contact: Ken August or Ralph Montano - (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that 13 California hospitals have been assessed administrative penalties of $25,000 per violation after a determination that the facilities’ noncompliance with licensing requirements has caused, or was likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients.

“Our mission is to protect and promote health by ensuring all Californians receive quality patient care,” said Dr. Mark Horton, director of CDPH. “We will continue to work with California hospitals to attain our shared goal of excellence in patient care.”

The following hospitals received penalties:

1. Brotman Medical Center, Culver City, Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to implement policies and procedures to ensure safe and effective administration of medications. This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

2. Clovis Community Medical Center, Clovis, Fresno County. The hospital failed to implement policies and procedures for the administration of medications with potential fatal adverse effects and did not provide for appropriate follow-up assessments, prompt monitoring and intervention. This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

3. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to accurately implement its blood transfusion policies and procedures. This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

4. John Muir Medical Center, Concord, Contra Costa County. The hospital failed to follow its own policies and procedures for restraining a patient for radiological exams. This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

5. Los Angeles County, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the facility’s fourth administrative penalty.

6. Saint Agnes Medical Center, Fresno County. The health and safety of a patient was jeopardized when the patient’s condition was not assessed while in decline and interventions were not initiated. This is the facility’s third administrative penalty.

7. Saint Francis Medical Center, Lynwood, Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to execute policies and procedures to ensure safe and effective use of medications. This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

8. Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego, San Diego County. The hospital failed to follow its policies and procedures for the use and maintenance of respiratory equipment. This is the facility’s second administrative penalty.

9. St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton, Orange County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policy and procedure. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object.  This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

10. University of California Irvine Medical Center, Irvine, Orange County. The health and safety of a patient was jeopardized when the hospital failed to follow its policies and procedures for fall prevention. This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

11. University of California Irvine Medical Center, Irvine, Orange County. The hospital compromised the safety of a patient when an allegation of physical assault was not investigated timely. The right to considerate and respectful care was not ensured. This is the facility’s second administrative penalty.

12. University of California, San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, San Diego County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the facility’s second administrative penalty.

13. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, San Francisco County. The hospital failed to ensure the safety of a patient by not establishing a safe and effective system for the administration of high-risk medications. This is the facility’s second administrative penalty.

14. Whittier Hospital Medical Center, Whittier, Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures regarding identification of a patient prior to a surgical procedure. This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

The administrative penalties were issued under authority granted by Health and Safety Code section 1280.1 which took effect January 1, 2007.

Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation to more than double administrative penalties for violations or deficiencies constituting an immediate jeopardy to the health and safety of patients. Incidents in this press release occurred in 2007 and 2008, before the new law took effect.

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

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

 
 
Last modified on: 6/4/2009 1:12 PM