May 21, 2009 -13 California Hospitals Hit With $25,000 Fines

The California Department of Public Health fined 13 hospitals $25,000 as part of violations that allegedly placed patients at risk.

The Los Angeles Times said Thursday the only hospital to receive more than one violation citation was the University of California-Irvine Medical Center, which received $50,000 in fines for two alleged violations.

The cases at the Irvine site that prompted the violations included a male nursing assistant being accused of inappropriately touching a female patient and a UCI patient suffering bleeding in the brain due to a fall that occurred when an on-duty nurse allegedly left the patient unattended.

Terry A. Belmont, chief executive of the UCI Medical Center, insisted his site was dedicated to patient care and safety.

"We are committed to redoubling our efforts to ensure the safety of each and every patient in our care," he told the Times.

The newspaper said the violations are part of an effort by state officials to improve patient safety by holding hospitals statewide accountable for any avoidable healthcare risks.

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