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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.
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BUSINESS
August 3, 2012 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
Dozens of hospitals across the country lost access to crucial electronic medical records for about five hours during a major computer outage last week, raising fresh concerns about whether poorly designed technology can compromise patient care. Cerner Corp., a leading supplier of electronic health records to hospitals and doctors, said "human error" caused the outage July 23 that it said affected an unspecified number of hospitals that rely on the Kansas City, Mo., company to remotely store their medical information.
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.
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
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.
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)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2013 | By Michael J. Mishak
SACRAMENTO -- A series of bills to expand the roles of nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals has set off a turf war with doctors over what non-physicians can and can't do in medical practices. Citing a doctor shortage in California, state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) has proposed legislation that would redefine professional boundaries for nurse practitioners, pharmacists and optometrists to help treat what is expected to be a crush of newly insured Californians seeking care next year under the federal healthcare law. But physicians are pushing back, arguing that the proposed “scope of practice” changes would radically alter longstanding medical standards and jeopardize patient safety.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 1999
As a registered nurse, I am angered once again by California Nurses Assn. (CNA) tactics. The picketing [Feb. 12] at Ventura County Medical Center did nothing to enhance patient care or maintain nursing advocacy for patients who cannot speak for themselves. Nothing but a special-interest group representing less than 10% of the nurses in this state, CNA calls itself a professional nursing organization. How can CNA and its strategies possibly be professional? That's narrow-minded thinking that puts both patients and nurses at risk.
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