Eleven hospitals in California have been fined $25,000 per violation by the state for actions that caused or were likely to have caused serious injury or death to patients.
Nearly all the fines were related to medication errors, including one penalty against 914-bed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for administering a potentially lethal dose of blood thinner to the newborn twins of actor Dennis Quaid and his wife, Kimberly.
Ten hospitals received one penalty each, and one hospital100-bed Kindred Hospital-Modesto (Calif.)received three. Medication errors included improperly dispensing, labeling and prescribing drugs, said Kathleen Billingsley, deputy director of the Center for Health Care Quality at the California Department of Public Health.
This is only the second time the state has fined hospitals for licensure noncompliance related to immediate patient jeopardy, as allowed under a law that went into effect in January 2007. Last October, nine hospitals were hit with a total of 11 penalties. Four hospitals have paid the fines, while five are under appeal.
The other penalized hospitals are: 323-bed Enloe Medical Center, Chico; 177-bed Kern Medical Center, Bakersfield; 136-bed Natividad Medical Center, Salinas; 344-bed Scripps Memorial Hospital-La Jolla (Calif.); 72-bed Sierra Vista Hospital, Sacramento; 51-bed Rancho Springs Medical Center, Murietta; 587-bed UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco; 177-bed ValleyCare Medical Center, Pleasanton; and 315-bed Washington Hospital, Fremont. -- by Rebecca Vesely