Although the Emergency Department with terminal drainage issues remains located at the hospital, the Gov. Juan Luis Hospital was deemed in compliance last Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
According to a news release issued Friday, JFL was notified by letter that the hospital was “in substantial compliance” with CMS, the federal oversight agency, based on a survey conducted April 20, to observe a plan of correction to deal with the hospital’s aged heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system.
Last November, CMS inspected the facility and threatened decertification until a POC to repair the HVAC system. Shortly thereafter, the V.I. Government agreed to appropriate $6 million for the repairs.
In the meantime, the hospital’s first floor sewage system collapsed at the beginning of May and another $3 million was appropriated by the government to refurbish the decades old cast iron pipes.
Due to the time involved to make repairs and the status of the ER bathrooms, the hospital’s board and management decided to move the emergency department to the adjacent Virgin Islands Cardiac Center. A task force identified 15 rooms for JFL to use, including three for psychiatric patients.
In May, acting Chief Executive Officer Richard Evangelista said he notified CMS within days of the problem and plans to update them frequently on progress.
The plan to relocate the ER is “in process,” but hospital spokeswoman Erica Parsons declined to estimate when the move might take place. There are still issues with the infrastructure, she said, and psychiatric nurses are waiting to be licensed. Since the move includes designating an area for psychiatric patients, it was necessary to hire and license qualified nurses.
“We are definitely moving towards it (relocating the ER),” Parsons said.
According to the news release, the public will be notified when a date to move the unit has been set. Until then, the temporary repairs are “working well,” they said. The JFL transition team meets weekly, Parsons said, to prepare for the relocation.