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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES TO 12 HOSPITALS 

Date: 9/3/2009 

Number: 09-77 

Contact: Al Lundeen (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that 12 California hospitals have been assessed administrative penalties of $25,000 per violation 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 Dr. Mark Horton, director of 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:

1. Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Colton, San Bernardino 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 first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

2. Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Orange, Orange County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when its failed to follow its nursing polices and procedures for the care, monitoring and treatment of a patient. This is the hospital’s first administrative penalty. 

3. Enloe Medical Center, Chico, Butte County.  The hospital failed to implement policies and procedures to ensure safe and effective administration of medications.  This is the hospital’s third administrative penalty. Previous penalties were issued in 2007 and 2008 for failure to implement polices and procedures to ensure safe and effective administration of medications.

4. Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Newport Beach, Orange County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital staff did not follow physician’s orders for continuous patient monitoring. This is the second administrative penalty issued to this hospital. A previous penalty was issued in 2008 for failure to follow surgical policy and procedure resulting in a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object.

5. Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, Vallejo, Solano 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 first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

6. Los Angeles County/University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles 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 second administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The facilities previous penalty was issued in 2008 for failure to provide adequate nursing staffing to meet the needs of a patient.

7. Mark Twain, St Joseph Hospital, San Andreas, Calaveras County.   The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its policies and procedures for fall prevention.  This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

8. Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Carmichael, Sacramento County.  The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its policies and procedures for fall prevention.  This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

9. South Coast Medical Center, South Laguna, 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 first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

10. Southwest Healthcare Systems, Riverside, Riverside County.  The hospital did not ensure the health and safety of a patient when it failed to comply with minimum staffing requirements for nursing care.  This is the hospital’s third administrative penalty. In 2007, a penalty was issued for failure to provide adequate on-call physician coverage and maintain an effective call system in the Intensive Care Unit. In 2008, a penalty was issued for failure to ensure proper food controls.

11. St. Helena Hospital, Clearlake, Lake 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 is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

12. Sutter Lakeside Hospital, Lakeport, Lake 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 first administrative penalty issued to this hospital.

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 significantly increase the fine for administrative penalties for violations or deficiencies constituting an immediate jeopardy to the health and safety of patients. The new law, which took effect Jan. 1, 2009, increases fines from $25,000 to $50,000 for the first violation. Incidents in this news release occurred in 2007 and 2008, before the new law took effect.

Upon conclusion of the investigation by CDPH, the facility is required to immediately 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: 9/10/2009 11:46 AM