Alta Bates Summit's director of public relations, Carolyn Kemp, was quoted as acknowledging that the results of the audit "were not in our favor" but also downplayed the significance of the specific complaints. The Chron reported that Dr. John Gentile, the hospital's vice president of medical affairs, while failing to actually disclose the specific allegations in the report, claimed that none of them had to do with improper patient care.

Sabin Russell, the Chron's health reporter, does a very good job of laying out the complexities of the story, including the context of JCAHO's stepped-up diligence (not unlike the current FCC's recent overreactions), so you should definitely check out his story. SFist just wanted to make sure you knew about it.

We also thought it was significant that neither JCAHO nor Alta Bates Summit was the source of the information. Apparently they had no intention of releasing the information until, presumably, the report becomes final in a few months, so if Summit is indeed re-accredited next year, we might never have known how close it came to losing its accreditation but for what Russell posits was a leak by disgruntled employees of Sutter Health (Alta Bates Summit's parent corporation) in Sacramento. An email to hospital spokesperson Carolyn Kemp for verification on this issue was not answered before we went to press.