By Melodie Henderson, Chino Hills Champion, CA; Saturday, March 25, 2006
In the final stages of a $10 million makeover, Chino Valley Medical Center is changing from the inside out.
Just two years after declaring bankruptcy, the neighborhood hospital located at 5451 Walnut Ave. in Chino is operating in the black and keeping pace with medical advancement and technology in ways that could be life-changing for its patients.
The hospital was in danger of closing until Dr. Prem Reddy of Desert Valley Hospital joined with CVMC, striking a management contract on Oct. 1, 2004.
"Dr. Reddy infused about $50 million into the hospital, and by June 30, 2005, we were out of bankruptcy- in record time," said Dr. James Lally, CVMC president and chief medical officer. According to Dr. Lally, Dr. Reddy decided everything at CVMC needed an update, and the renovation began.
"He wanted to make it more appealing, and bring it up to state of the art," Dr. Lally said. Physical changes in the hospital began at the bottom, with the removal of carpet that had been there since the hospital was built in 1972. Now corridors are covered in white tile. New, comfortable mauve chairs have been put in the lobby and sepia photographs of Chino in its early days line the entrance and hospital hallways. The outside of the building was power washed, brightening it considerably. The grounds received tree-trimming, outside lighting and landscaping.
The comfort of patients will be improved with all new beds in the Intensive Care Unit, new security systems, and dual televisions in the semi-private rooms.
Now, when patients share a room, they will each be in control of their own television. The entire hospital has a new paperless, wireless monitoring system as well.
A new telemetry monitoring system allows patients to be consistently monitored no matter where they go in the hospital.
"If a patient is taken for an X-ray, he can still be monitored," Dr. Lally said. This system works by means of wire sensors that extend from the ceiling, continuously reading a patient's location.
Joanne Ramirez and Dr. Lally look at CAT scan results, in which Ms. Ramirez has enlarged an image of vessels in Dr. Lally's leg. According to Dr. Lally, the CAT scan machine is a diagnostic tool that could be life saving, especially for heart patients.
Dr. Lally is excited about the changes and advancements at CVMC. "We are about 90 percent finished with this remodel; you can't point at one thing in here that hasn't been upgraded. We can do amazing things now," Dr. Lally said. One of the things doctors are most excited about is new software that allows a doctor to sit in his office, his home, or even his car and look at an xray. Another program that CVMC will soon begin using will have doctors putting their own orders directly in the computer.
"That is going to be very useful, especially for doctors with messy handwriting," he said The emergency room has undergone a major change, which had nothing to do with remodeling. "We basically have doubled the staffing of doctors and nurses," Dr. Lally said.
According to Dr. Lally, most emergency rooms are closed for an average of four to five hours per day because they can't handle the volume of patients. Because of the staffing increase, the ER at CVMC was closed for only six hours and 34 minutes in 2005. "So far this year, we have only been closed for one hour," Dr. Lally said. "We don't turn anyone away."