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Patient Safety

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2001
As a practicing physician, I appreciate your March 11 story, "Risk Was Known as FDA OKd Fatal Drug." When the diabetes drug Rezulin was still on the market, I was pushing for its withdrawal, or at least a "black box" warning to physicians. Since its inception in the early 1900s, the congressional mandate to the Food and Drug Administration has been to protect the public. In the 1990s, when Congress asked the FDA to speed approval for drugs that could potentially save lives in hopeless diseases such as AIDS and terminal cancer (fast-track approval)
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2008 | Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
When Lawrence Paul Rael was involuntarily committed to Atascadero State Hospital 10 years ago, his parents considered the placement appropriate. Born prematurely and with a severe hearing loss, Rael had been in and out of mental health facilities from the time he was a child, with a tentative diagnosis of autism. At 18, he molested two boys and was sent to prison and then to Atascadero.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2007 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Benjamin Houghton had fewer reasons than most to fear the surgery he'd scheduled at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center to remove his potentially cancerous left testicle. For one thing, the 47-year-old Air Force veteran and father of four already knew that he could function normally with a single, healthy testicle. For another, he was getting his surgery in a system that has prided itself on its pioneering efforts to prevent medical errors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
The union representing nearly 13,000 University of California patient-care workers plans to take a strike vote beginning Tuesday. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME 3299, will hold the strike vote through Thursday and announce results next week. The vote comes after nearly a year of negotiations between the workers and UC over staffing, pay and pension reforms. The contract expired in September. Union President Kathryn Lybarger said the university is putting profits above patient safety and that workers want better staffing and fair pay. The hospitals have seen more understaffing and the use of temporary employees, she said.
BUSINESS
March 8, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
A Los Angeles jury Friday ordered healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $8 million in damages to a retired prison guard who said he was injured by the company's defective artificial hip. But in a victory for the company, the 12-member jury declined to levy any punitive damages, despite being told by the guard's lawyer that J&J's behavior warranted up to $179 million. This marks the first verdict in more than 8,000 similar suits filed against the world's biggest medical-products maker over this all-metal hip introduced in 2005 by DePuy, the orthopedic division of J&J. In this case, Loren Kransky, a 65-year-old former prison guard in Montana, claimed that he suffered metal poisoning and other health problems from the company's ASR XL hip implant he received in 2007.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2008 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
Thirteen hospitals, including five in Los Angeles and Orange counties, have been fined for placing patients at risk of serious injury or death, California health officials said Wednesday. Two Los Angeles County public hospitals, Harbor-UCLA and Olive View-UCLA medical centers, received citations. The two, along with County-USC Medical Center, form the backbone of the county's health system. Also fined were Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center and St.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - Measures that would expand the roles of nurse practitioners and pharmacists advanced in the Assembly on Tuesday, setting the stage for a fierce lobbying battle in the session's final weeks. Both measures wade into the so-called scope of practice debate over what type of medical care can be administered  by non-physicians, setting off a turf war between doctors and other medical providers. The more contentious of the two bills is SB 491, which would allow nurse practitioners to practice without physicians' supervision.
BUSINESS
January 20, 2010 | By Duke Helfand
California's largest health insurer is teaming with hospitals and doctors throughout the state to better share ways to improve patient safety and cut costs, leaders of the initiative said Tuesday. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals at California hospitals will meet quarterly in person or over the Internet during the next three years to compare their practices and data for reducing medical problems such as hospital-borne infections. Woodland Hills-based Anthem Blue Cross is contributing $6 million toward the effort.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
California hospitals, under pressure to improve patient safety and cut unnecessary costs, reported a lower rate of early-elective deliveries last year, a new report shows. Hospitals in the state reported that 8.8% of deliveries in 2012 were early by choice, including elective inductions or caesarean sections between 37 and 39 weeks without a medical reason, according to the Leapfrog Group, an employer-backed nonprofit group focused on healthcare quality. That was down from 11.3% among California hospitals reporting data in 2011, and it was less than the 2012 national average of 11.2%, Leapfrog said.
NEWS
December 1, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Ever since college student Libby Zion died while under the care of overworked, overtired, undersupervised medical residents at New York Hospital, there has been a push to limit the duty hours of these doctors-in-training. In the 26 years since that fateful night, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (better known by the acronym ACGME) has put restrictions on the number of hours residents may work per week (the current maximum is 80) and the length of any single shift (the current maximum is 30, and it will drop to 16 next year)
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