7 California hospitals fined over $300K for endangering patient safety

In December, the California Department of Public Health collectively issued $374,975 in fines to seven California hospitals for licensing compliance issues that caused or were likely to cause patient harm or death.

The penalized incidents occurred between 2014 and 2018. Here is a breakdown of the penalties:

1. Anaheim-based Kaiser Foundation Hospital - Orange County incurred a $75,000 penalty for a medication error that led to a patient's death in 2018.

2. The health department fined Visalia-based Kaweah Delta Medical Center $51,975 for failing to protect against interpatient abuse during a 2018 incident.

3. Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield incurred a $31,350 penalty for leaving a surgical object inside a patient during a 2017 procedure.

4. Mercy Medical Center Redding (Calif.) was fined $30,000 for failing to adequately deliver patient care in a 2017 incident in which a patient did not have a bowel movement for 10 days. The hospital also failed to recognize a nursing diagnosis of severe constipation and intervene by promptly notifying the physician.

5. Fresno-based St. Agnes Medical Center incurred a $71,250 penalty for failing to protect the rights of a patient and failing to ensure staff followed hospital policy when a patient left the hospital against a physician's advice in 2017.

6. The health department fined Oxnard-based St. John's Regional Medical Center $40,400 for leaving a surgical object inside a patient after an open-heart surgery in 2014.

7. Health officials fined Vibra Hospital of Sacramento (Calif.) $75,000 for giving the wrong dosage of medication to a patient, resulting in the patient's death.

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