7 SoCal Hospitals Fined For Medical Errors
KTLA News August 18, 2008, 8:58 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES -- Seven hospitals in L.A. and Orange counties were fined today by the state for mistakes that included leaving surgical tools in patients and over-medicating a patient.
"Ensuring all Californians receive quality patient care is our top priority," said Kathleen Billingsley, deputy director of the Center for Health Care Quality with the California Department of Public Health.
Statewide, fines were levied against a total of 18 hospitals -- some of which had multiple violations -- for "incidents that caused, or were likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients."
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance was fined $25,000 for failing to accurately label tissue specimens, which led to unnecessary surgery for one patient and delayed treatment for another, according to DPH. The hospital received a second $25,000 penalty for failing to provide screening examinations and stabilizing medical care in a timely manner for two patients, according to the state healthcare agency.
Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center was fined $25,000 for not providing adequate nursing staff for a suicide watch to meet the needs of a patient, DPH found.
Five hospitals in Orange County were fined $25,000 per violation cited by the state.
Anaheim General Hospital received two violations for failing to ensure medical devices were electronically safe and for failing to maintain the pharmacy's refrigerated temperatures.
Coastal Communities Hospital in Santa Ana was fined for over-medicating a patient, resulting in death.
At Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, doctors left a sponge in a patient following surgery.
At Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, hospital staff left a surgical instrument in a patient.
At Los Alamitos Medical Center, a patient died after falling out of a wheelchair. State regulators found hospital staff failed to buckle the person into the chair.
The hospitals may appeal the penalties by requesting a hearing within 10 days of notification.