Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica is one of 11 state hospitals that have been issued $25,000 fines by the California Department of Public Health for violations that have caused or were likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients.
According to the Department of Public Health, Saint John’s was fined after it was determined that the hospital “failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when the hospital did not follow its surgical services policies and procedure.” This is the first administrative penalty issued by the department to the Santa Monica hospital.
“Ensuring all Californians receive quality patient care is our top priority,” said Dr. Mark Horton, California Department of Public Health director. “We will continue to work with California hospitals to ensure our shared goal of excellence in patient care.”
In response to the penalty, Greg Harrison, spokesman for Saint John’s Health Center, said the hospital “deeply regrets this unfortunate incident.” The center has corrected the circumstances that led to the event and has implemented stricter safety controls, he said.
“Patient safety and quality care are our highest priorities,” Harrison said. “We continually strive to improve our processes to provide safe, high quality care through the use of sophisticated systems, information technology and patient care policies.”
After a hospital is assessed an administrative penalty, the facility is required to immediately implement a plan to prevent future incidents, a health department spokesman said. Hospitals can appeal an administrative penalty by requesting a hearing within ten calendar days of notification.
All hospitals in California are required to be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing general acute care hospitals. The facilities are required to comply with these standards to ensure quality of care, according to the health department.