The president of Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley said the new hospital is still slated to open the first quarter of this year as work continues to bring the facility in line with state requirements.
Jeff Lingerfelt on Thursday told members of the Rotary Club of Tehachapi that four project managers have been hired to make the building comply with state law.
It may take multiple inspections by the state before the hospital is approved to open. The pharmacy is being renovated now.
Lingerfelt added that the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District still has control of the hospital, but AHTV may be able to make changes to some construction, if the district allows it in the future.
The president also reflected on the organization's goals and values.
Two slideshow presentations and a short speech by Lingerfelt showed the vision for the organization is to care for people mentally, physically and spiritually, provide preventive care, recruit new doctors to the community, and have a grand open house when the hospital is opened.
“That’s one of the reasons I came to a business that was faith-based," Lingerfelt said. "At the end of the day when you put your head on the pillow, it’s not about business, it’s about if we can make a difference in somebody’s life."
Lingerfelt said action items in the works include meeting with local pastors and leaders to find out community needs to prevent emergency room visits, find a place for long-term care patients who are currently living at the current facility and planning a grand open house for residents.
“What can we do to work with you and your congregation to help you be well? What do we need to do to address your healthcare needs of Tehachapi?” Lingerfelt said.
In other communities, he said, data has shown that if patients were checked on continually it could save an ER visit, an ambulance ride and a hospital admission.
He added the goal is to drive down the cost of care for patients.
To make information more accessible to doctors before they see a patient, Adventist Health is working on an application for a smart phone that will store medical history.
Lingerfelt also said the organization has a medical record database called Cerner that links information to different hospitals so they can view patient information. This can save time for the patient.