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Hospitals Fined for Failure to Ensure Patients Care and Safety

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014    

Eight California hospitals received a total of $775,000 in fines for serious violations in their licensing requirements. Two of the hospitals were cited for multiple violations. Most violations were for failure to ensure the health and safety of their patients by not following surgical policies and procedures, which basically means that doctors and nurses failed to do complete checks. In some cases, a foreign object was left in the patient’s body, causing further trauma to the individual.

The other violations included: Failure to ensure the health and safety of a patient by not following procedures for the safe distribution and administration of medication; failure to ensure the health and safety of a patient by not following established procedures regarding fall prevention; and failure to ensure the health and safety of a patient by not following established procedures in regards to the care and treatment of a patient.

How Safe are Hospitals?

To ensure quality of care to all patients, acute care hospitals are required to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. A study conducted by John T. James, PhD, in association with Patient Safety America, found that there are approximately 210,000 deaths each year from preventable harm in hospitals. These causes were classified into several categories in order to best determine where the fault lies for hospital deaths.

The five categories are commission, omission, communication, context and diagnosis. When a patient is harmed or dies as a result of a medical procedure, a full report must be submitted and reviewed by a panel. The study shows that most deaths fall into the commission category which means that health care professionals did something they should not have done. This could include administering improper type and dosage of medication, leaving a foreign object in the patient after a surgical procedure, failing to assist or monitor a patient or treating the patient incorrectly.

Information provided by the California Department of Public health advises that the majority of our state’s hospitals are fined for failure to ensure the health and safety of their patients by not following surgical policies and procedures. This means that the surviving family members may have a cause of action against the hospital, the healthcare providers or both.

Has the life of someone you love been cut short due the negligence of a licensed professional whose primary goal is to ensure the quality of life? If so, contact the Amerio Law Firm in Sacramento for a free consultation to see how we can help you.

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