California Health Department Penalizes 12 Hospitals Including Emanuel Medical Center

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has fined Emanuel Medical Center, along with 12 other California hospitals, administrative penalties related to policies and procedures. Emanuel’s $75,000 fine is the second fine this year for the hospital.


In June, a $50,000 fine was assessed when a May 2010 inspection showed that an anesthesiologist did not follow the FDA guidelines for administering droperidol, also known as Inapsine. According to the report, the drug was removed from the hospital’s pharmacy following the citation and the anesthesiologist no longer works at the hospital.
 
Emanuel Medical Center self-reported an incident to CDPH regarding a retained guidewire after an emergency room procedure in September 2010. Staff quickly submitted a comprehensive plan of correction including a revised medical staff and separate nursing policy and procedure, which was approved by Emanuel’s Medical Executive Committee and the state.
 
The CDPH released on September 7, 2011, “The hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow its surgical policies and procedures. This is the second administrative penalty issued to this hospital. The penalty is $75,000.”
 
John Sigsbury, Emanuel Medical Center’s CEO, released a memo to employees and volunteers addressing the situation and asking for their support in communicating to the community that they are committed to a safe environment for their patients.
 
The letter stated "We believe that patient safety and effective patient care outcomes go hand in hand." 
 
Sigsbury then gave the following description of the incident so that staff and physicians were fully informed:
 
Here are brief facts related to the incident:
 
– The patient presented in our Emergency Department with multiple life-threatening issues. The swift and impressive actions of the Emergency Department physician and team saved this patient’s life.
 
– During the physician’s lifesaving efforts, an "introducer" (extremely fine guide wire), that is commonly used when inserting a catheter, was unfortunately retained.
 
– Once discovered, the introducer was immediately and safely removed at Emanuel by an Interventional Radiologist.
 
– The patient did not experience any adverse effects as a result of the retained introducer and/or the removal of the introducer.
 
 
Sigsbury reiterated in the letter that the most important fact was that no one was harmed in the incident and their commitment to their patients.
 
"We are keenly committed to patient safety and quality care. It will always be a top priority,” stated Sigsbury. “I am proud of the quality patient care that is delivered around-the-clock at our hospital."
 
Emanuel Medical Center will be appealing the penalties.
 

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