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Patient Safety

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.
May 8, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center improved slightly from an F to a D in a national hospital safety report released Wednesday, while Cedars-Sinai Medical Center stayed at a C grade. Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit healthcare quality organization, based the scores on an analysis of infections, injuries, medication errors and other problems that cause patient harm or death. The organization publicizes the scores in an effort to inform patients and reduce safety problems, said Leah Binder, its president and chief executive.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 20, 2013
Re "Violating the right to a lawyer," Opinion, March 18 I read this piece on inadequate representation for poor criminal defendants with mixed feelings. I have been a deputy public defender in Los Angeles County for nearly 13 years, and during that time I've worked with attorneys whom I believe to be among the country's finest criminal defense attorneys. The nearly 700 attorneys in our office receive special training at the misdemeanor, juvenile delinquency and felony levels; in fact, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized our felony training program in 2010.
October 11, 2010 | By Brendan Borrell, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In the 18th century, physicians-in-training literally lived in the hospitals where they worked. Although today's "residents" are no longer supposed to be sleeping on the job, so to speak, their 30-hour work shifts mean that it's not uncommon to find them battling shut-eye in the emergency room. Heroic working hours have long been a badge of honor for senior physicians ? the late cardiovascular surgeon Michael DeBakey often bragged that he slept for only five or six hours per night tops.
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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