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California health agency works with hospitals to reduce errors

Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2010

There were 1,538 preventable medical errors reported at California hospitals last fiscal year, according to regulators at the state Department of Public Health. Regulators plan to release a report in coming months analyzing statewide trends in preventable medical errors, said officials from the public health department's Center for Health Care Quality. They also plan to spend $800,000 of the fines collected from hospitals this year on research and prevention of foreign objects left behind during surgery. Last year, the department spent $300,000 of the fines on assessing, among other things, whether hospitals are underreporting errors, the Los Angeles Times reports.