Ten Southern California Hospitals Fined For Code Violations
LOS ANGELES - Ten hospitals in Southern California have been fined for alleged code violations that endangered patient safety.

The 10 hospitals are among 13 statewide that were assessed administrative penalties.

The California Department of Public Health announced the penalties Wednesday, which were each $25,000 or more.

The hospitals can appeal within 10 days, or submit plans outlining how they will avoid errors in the future.

The following hospitals received penalties:

1. California Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to implement its established policies and procedures for the safe and effective administration of medication. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

2. Grossmont Hospital, La Mesa, San Diego County. The hospital staff failed to follow the policies and procedures for surgical and invasive procedures. This is the second administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000. The first administrative penalty was issued in August 2008.

3. Hoag Memorial Hospital, Newport Beach, Orange County. The hospital failed to protect the health and safety of a patient while providing diagnostic services. This is the hospital's third administrative penalty. The penalty is $50,000. The first administrative penalty was issued in August 2008 and the second was issued in September 2009.

4. John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Indio, Riverside County. The hospital failed to implement its established policies and procedures for the on-going assessment and monitoring of patients and failed to follow procedures for the safe administration of medication. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The second, third and fourth penalties have also been issued today. Each penalty is $25,000.

5. John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Indio, Riverside County. The hospital failed to ensure nursing staff competency and failed to follow procedures for the safe administration of medication.

6. John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Indio, Riverside County. The hospital failed to ensure nursing staff competency and failed to follow the hospital's policies and procedures for the on-going assessment and monitoring of patients.

7. John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Indio, Riverside County. The hospital failed to follow its policies and procedures for the on-going assessment and monitoring of patients and failed to follow procedures for the safe administration of medication.

8. Kaiser Foundation Hospital - Oakland/Richmond, Oakland, Alameda County. The hospital failed to implement policies and procedures for the safe administration of medication. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

9. Los Angeles Community Hospital (Norwalk Campus), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to execute its policies and procedures to follow physician orders when providing patient care. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

10. Marina Del Rey Hospital, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County. The hospital failed to follow its policies and procedures for on-going assessment and monitoring of its patients. This is the first administrative penalty issued to the hospital. The penalty is $25,000.

11. San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, San Francisco County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo removal of a retained foreign object. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $25,000.

12. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, Santa Clara County. The hospital failed to follow its policies and procedures to provide a comprehensive and accurate assessment of a patient. This is the first administrative penalty issued to the hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

13. Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, San Diego County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the first administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

14. St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton, Orange County. The hospital failed to follow its policies and procedures for on-going assessment and monitoring of a patient. This is the first administrative penalty issued to the hospital. The penalty is $50,000.

15. University of California, San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, San Diego County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the third administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000. The first administrative penalty was issued in May 2008 and the second was issued in May 2009.

16. Western Medical Center, Santa Ana, Santa Ana, Orange County. The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This resulted in a patient having to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained foreign object. This is the second administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $50,000. The first administrative penalty was issued in March 2009.

Kathleen Billingsly, the deputy director for the State Center for Healthcare Quality, says more than 30 percent of administrative penalties are a result of medication errors.

The second most common violation is when sponges or surgical tools are left inside patients, occurring in 18.6 percent of administrative penalties.