OAKLAND (KCBS) – Alta Bates Medical Center in Oakland has been fined for procedural errors the California Department of Public Health says led to a patient’s death.

The hospital was hit with a $50,000 fine for an incident in which a patient died after a nurse administered feeding formula in violation of safe nutrition administration procedures.

In a statement, the hospital said Thursday the 2011 incident was an isolated one and that the facility has since developed a plan of correction.

Alta Bates was one of ten hospitals across the state fined for patient safety violations.

The other Bay Area hospital facing a fine, Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, must pay $100,000 for not following procedures related to respiratory care, also in 2011.

The size of the fine indicates at least three such violations have taken place at that facility, said Debby Rogers, spokeswoman for the California Department of Public Health.

Marin General Hospital issued the following statement following the ruling:

“This incident was originally reported on June 2011. The latest report published by CDPH today includes the penalties that have been assessed. As previously stated we deeply regret the incident and are committed to improving patient safety. This was a tragic event and we have since re-engineered our processes and put more checks and balances in place to ensure that accidents of this kind never happen again.”

Rogers said the fines begin at $50,000 for the first incident and escalate to $100,000 for three or more incidents to spur hospitals to improve their procedures and prevent medical errors.

“We want California hospitals to be successful in their efforts to reduce healthcare-associated infections, decrease medication errors, eliminate surgical errors and prevent other adverse events,” she said.

The department issued a total of $675,000 in fines to ten hospitals across the state.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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