Immediate jeopardy mistakes costly


Thirteen California hospitals have been fined a total of $650,00 for 16 immediate jeopardy mistakes.  According to California law, immediate jeopardy “is a situation in which the hospital’s noncompliance with one or more requirements of licensure has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury or death to a patient.” 
The California Department of Public Health received the authority to issue immediate jeopardy fines in 2007, a result of a bill signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Fines are $25,000 for 2007 and 2008 mistakes and $50,000 to $100,000 for 2009 incidences; first violations are assessed at the lesser rate.  All monies collected are earmarked for programs aimed at decreasing serious medical errors. 

The latest round of fines include four penalties, totaling $100,000, for John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio.  The penalties are the result of using nurses who weren’t trained or certified to perform emergency room tasks in the ER. 


Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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