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Patient Safety

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.
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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)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2013 | By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - As the state moves to expand healthcare coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama's healthcare law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren't enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients. Some lawmakers want to fill the gap by redefining who can provide healthcare. They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure.
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.
OPINION
July 1, 2011 | By Lucian Leape and Helen Haskell
Forty years ago this month, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that sleep-deprived resident physicians reading electrocardiograms made twice as many errors as their rested counterparts. Back then, in 1971, there were no limits on the hours that medical residents could be scheduled to work. Thirty-six-hour on-call shifts were the norm. Under new rules that take effect Friday, newly minted medical school graduates will start their internships with shifts limited to no longer than 16 hours.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2012 | By Chad Terhune
Hospital chain HCA Holdings Inc., under government scrutiny for allegedly performing unnecessary surgeries and other medical procedures on some Florida patients, has posted healthy profits at its three hospitals in Southern California. The Nashville, Tenn., company said in a securities filing Monday that officials with the U.S. attorney's office in Miami had requested information about medical necessity reviews for certain "cardiology services. " HCA said those reviews had occurred at about 10 of its hospitals, primarily in Florida.
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.
OPINION
January 24, 2011 | By Bradley Wertheim
Three months ago, I finished my last 30-hour shift as a medical student. Although I'll be starting my residency soon, it's unlikely I'll ever again work such a marathon shift. FOR THE RECORD: Physicians: In a Jan. 24 Op-Ed about residency funding, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Assn. of American Medical Colleges were incorrectly called the American Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Assn. of Medical Colleges, respectively.
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.
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.
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