California Health Department
fines Laguna Honda Hospital
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
March 26, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The state's health department has
handed down the maximum fine possible to San Francisco's Laguna
Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for the death of an 82-year-old
woman last October.
Citing negligence and poor management, the California Department
of Health Services handed down a $100,000 fine and a AA citation
to the hospital, which is run by the San Francisco Department
of Public Health.
The citation, which is the most severe penalty the state department
can issue, stems from the death of an elderly woman on Oct. 30.
Employees at the hospital found the woman dead on the ground
in a small garden outside the hospital.
According to the medical examiner's report, the woman fell to
her death, perhaps from a third story window above.
In the state department findings, Public Health Officer Mark
Horton reported that the woman was alert but suffered from dementia
and needed assistance for all daily activities. The report also
revealed that the woman had a history of falling and wandering
outside the facilities.
The fine was issued specifically because the "facility failed
to review, evaluate, update and implement the care plan for the
San Francisco Department of Public Health Spokeswoman Eileen
Shields said the death of the woman was a tragedy and the department
extends its sincerest condolences to the family.
But Shields said Laguna Honda Hospital should not be held responsible.
"We have received the state's findings and we don't agree
with them," Shields said. "We will be appealing their
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