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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES TO 10 HOSPITALS 

Date: 3/3/2009 

Number: 09-13 

Contact: Al Lundeen or Ken August - (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO  

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that 10 hospitals have been assessed administrative penalties of $25,000 from the state of California after a determination that the facilities’ noncompliance with licensing requirements 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 CDPH. “We will continue to work with California hospitals to attain our shared goal of excellence in patient care.”

The following hospitals received penalties:

Anaheim General Hospital, Anaheim, Orange County. The hospital failed to ensure comprehensive oversight and management of the dietary department resulting in potentially hazardous food handling practices. The facility has received two previous penalties; this is the facility’s third administrative penalty.

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Bakersfield, Kern County. The hospital jeopardized the health and safety of patients by not having properly functioning anesthesia equipment. This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, Fountain Valley, Orange County. The hospital did not protect the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow its policies and procedures for the safe and accurate administration of medications. The facility has received one previous penalty; this is the facility’s second administrative penalty.

Mad River Community Hospital, Arcata, Humboldt County. The hospital failed to follow its policies and procedures regarding radiation safety.   This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae, Marin 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 first administrative penalty.

Northbay Vacavalley Hospital, Vacaville, Solano County. The hospital did not ensure the safety of a patient at risk for falls by failing to follow its policies and procedures.  This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, Chula Vista, San Diego County. The hospital failed to have a safe, effective and timely system for dispensing and administering medications.  This is the facility’s first administrative penalty.

Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital, Thousand Oaks, Ventura 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 first administrative penalty.

Ventura County Medical Center, Santa Paula Hospital, Santa Paula, Ventura 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 first administrative penalty.

Western Medical Center, Santa Ana, Orange County. The hospital compromised the safety of a patient when an allegation of physical assault was not investigated in a timely manner and the right to considerate and respectful care was not ensured.   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 (Senate Bill 541 by Sen. Elaine Alquist) to more than double 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 to $50,000 for the first violation, $75,000 for the second, and $100,000 for the third violation at the same facility. After new regulations are written, the amounts will grow to $75,000, $100,000 and $125,000. 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.

Further information about the administrative penalties, including deficiency reports and frequently asked questions, are available on the CDPH Web site: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/facilities/Pages/Counties.aspx.

 

 
 
Last modified on: 6/8/2009 11:59 AM