David Eastman

David Eastman of Adventist Health says there could be a delay in opening the new hospital.

Jill Barnes Nelson / Tehachapi News

It may take a little longer than previously expected for the new Tehachapi hospital to open.

"There is no exact day," David Eastman of Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley said recently. "The best estimate is the second half of this year."

Eastman said they still have to deal with the California Department of Public Health. He added there is a time lag between when the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development signs off on the building with a Certificate of Occupancy, and when the CDPH gives its final decision on “total preparedness, policy, procedures, supplies and staff.”

“The CDPH said it could take four to six months. That's a little scary,” he said. “We're hoping it's only a month.”

One of the other problems is the pharmacy department of the new hospital was designed under old codes from 2007. The hospital now must be licensed under current codes.

One of the biggest changes was new air circulation, pharmaceutical handling and mixing regulations. Eastman said OSHPD is working with the hospital to make changes based on the original permit, which should save time.