California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has issued fine on Sutter health after an investigation found safety violation for handling patients with suspected airborne diseases at Sutter’s Alts Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland.
Shutter health has agreed to pay $71,275 as fine.
According to the states two-month investigation at the end of 2012, Alta Bates has placed 23 patients believed to have tuberculosis in isolation rooms that were inoperable and those rooms were in the hospital’s intensive care unit and cardiopulmonary unit exposing several other patients, visitors to exposure for TB or other infectious disease.
The According to California Nurses Association, the investigation stemmed form 2012 incident where the hospital treated more than a dozen tuberculosis patients.
The nurses filed a complaint that the patients were put in inoperable isolation rooms.
“It is unconscionable that Sutter once again demonstrated a callous lack of safety precautions that placed the health and safety of others at risk. Sutter’s disgraceful record, and obvious cavalier attitude as a repeat offender in workplace safety protections raise serious concern about what other safety standards they are violating,” said CNA co-president Zenei Cortez, RN.
“As the Ebola crisis in recent months has reminded us, the incidents of infectious diseases are increasing. It is critical that all hospitals have fully functioning isolation rooms to protect public safety or epidemics can easily spread out of control,” Cortez said.
In a settlement, Sutter will pay half of the fines first issued and will make changes to its procedures for handling patients believed of having airborne diseases.