Crittenden Regional Hospital’s reopening delayed

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Crittenden County Hospital

CRITTENDEN COUNTY, Ark. –Crittenden Regional Hospital’s reopening has been delayed.

The hospital was closed after a fire on June 6.

According to the hospital, “While the fire was contained to a single room, the hospital’s sprinkler system that contained the fire put out 35 gallons of water per minute across a large area, a total of 16,800 gallons. The work required to reopen includes extensive water abatement as well as a complete over-hauling of walls, ceilings and floors in much of the hospital’s first floor and second floor. Additionally, the hospital’s HVAC system has to be cleaned and rebooted which is the biggest driver at this point in determining when the hospital will reopen.

“It was initially thought that the HVAC work could be completed by July 4th, thus allowing for a July 7th opening. However, as the complexity of that work became better known the opening date has been pushed back so the hospital can meet rigorous quality standards. Hospitals are held to considerably higher facility standards than other commercial or residential buildings, and CRH will reopen only when the rigorous reconstruction standards are met. Hospital officials anticipate patients will be able to be admitted the week of July 14th; a more exact date will be determined based on how well the cleaning and testing goes next week.”

A small electrical fire in an outbuilding of the hospital Tuesday night was put out with fire extinguishers and had no impact on the reopening delay.

CRH primary care clinics, outpatient rehabilitation, Home Health and Hospice Services are still operating normally.

Last week, voters approved a referendum raising the county sales tax by one percent. The money generated will go to the hospital, which is more than $20 million in debt.

The one-percent tax takes the county’s total sales tax to 11 percent and is expected to generate $6 million a year over five years, for a total of $30 million.

The hospital says a shortage of  doctors, lower reimbursements, and more poor patients led to its financial troubles.

Collections of the new tax started July 1, and the hospital will begin getting payments from it in October.