California fines 9 hospitals $500k+ for patient safety issues

The California Department of Public Health on Dec. 28 collectively issued $549,555 in fines to nine hospitals for licensing compliance issues that either caused or were likely to cause serious harm or death to patients.

The penalized incidents occurred between 2014 and 2017. Here is a breakdown of the penalties.

1. The health department issued California Pacific Medical Center – Davies Campus Hospital in San Francisco two fines for incidents that occurred in 2015 and 2016. The 2015 incident yielded a fine of $47,452.50 and was related to a medication error. The hospital received a $66,000 fine for failing to take appropriate actions to prevent a patient fall in 2016. The health department associated the fall with the patient's subsequent death.

2. Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs incurred an $82,500 fine for issues related to a 2014 patient blood transfusion that resulted in a prolonged hospitalization.

3. Doctors Medical Center in Modesto incurred a $47,250 fine for circumstances related to an interpatient sexual assault in 2016.

4. The health department fined Methodist Hospital of Sacramento $47,452 for a medication error that occurred in 2015.

5. Palmdale Regional Medical Center incurred a $49,500 fine after an emergency department patient stabbed himself in 2016.

6. Health officials fined Regional Medical Center of San Jose $33,300 for a 2017 event involving a medication error.

7. Riverside Community Hospital incurred a $31,500 fine for a 2014 event involving a medication error.

8. The health department fined Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital $100,000 for circumstances surrounding a 2015 patient suicide.

9. UC San Diego Health-Hillcrest incurred a $44,000 fine for issues related to the death of a cardiac patient who was not connected to the telemetry monitor.

To learn more about the fines, click here.

More articles on quality: 
Study: Patient fall history can help predict future bone fractures 
Standardized handoff improves ICU provider preparedness, reduces early morning order entry 
Woman sues California hospital, claims physicians left 8-inch forceps inside her after surgery

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