For the eighth time since 2007, California has issued $25,000 fines to hospitals for policies or practices that put patients at immediate risk for injury or death.
California fines 11 hospitals for safety problems
Eleven hospitals were fined in this latest round, bringing the total number of penalties issued to 115 at 80 hospitals. Some hospitals have been fined multiple times. The state has collected $1.6 million out of the $2.87 million in fines issued, and hospitals have appealed 29 cases. None have completed the appeal process.
Medications errors are the top reason why hospitals are fined. Thirty-two percent of the penalties to date were related to medication errors, while 21% were because of retention of a foreign object during surgery, state officials said.
Among the 11 new penalties, six involved retention of a foreign object during a surgical procedure, requiring a second surgery.
“We are seriously looking at this,” said Kathleen Billingsley, deputy director for the Center for Health Care Quality for the California Public Health Department, adding that the state plans to work with hospitals on quality improvement efforts for surgical errors.
The 11 hospitals were: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley; Coast Plaza Doctors Hospital, Norwalk; Kindred Hospital, Ontario; Loma Linda (Calif.) University Medical Center; Los Angeles County/University of Southern California; Mendocino Coast District Hospital, Fort Bragg; Redwood Memorial Hospital, Fortuna; St. John's Health Center, Santa Monica; Sharp Chula Vista (Calif.) Medical Center; Tri-City Medical Center, Oceanside; and USC University Hospital, Los Angeles.
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