STatement on Patient Lynne Spalding Ford- January 7, 2014

January 7, 2014


by Sue Currin, RN, MSN, CEO of San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma

Everyone at San Francisco General Hospital is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Ms. Lynne Spalding Ford. Our only focus is on having a safe and secure environment for our patients, staff and visitors and to ensure that this never happens again. In the last three months we have become a safer organization by doing everything we can to learn all of the facts about what went wrong and making immediate changes to our safety and security systems.

The review of the audio tapes related to this event provides additional information as we evaluate our security policies and procedures and make any and all required changes so that our hospital meets the highest standards.

Our improvement work began immediately on October 8th, and continues today.  It includes changes such as daily stairwell checks and revised alarm procedures, and contracting with UCSF for a third party, independent review of safety and security systems at SFGH. In addition, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, which provides security at the hospital, has instituted staffing, training and communication changes at the hospital.

At the end of this process, SFGH will be a stronger organization. As the city’s only trauma center and care provider for more than 100,000 patients and their families each year, we want all our patients to have full confidence that in addition to excellent care, we will also provide a secure environment. 


San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center is the sole provider of trauma and psychiatric emergency services for the City and County of San Francisco. A comprehensive medical center, SFGH serves some 100,000 patients per year and provides 20 percent of the city’s inpatient care. In 2011, SFGH became the first hospital in the country to be certified for a Traumatic Brain Injury program. As San Francisco’s public hospital, SFGH’s mission is to provide quality health care and trauma services with compassion and respect to patients that include the city’s most vulnerable. General Hospital is also one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, partnering with the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine on clinical training and research.


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