Local News

Jun 29, 2010 9:44 PM by Ariel Wesler

New hospital seeks to improve patient care

Lompoc has a new hospital tonight. Employees started transferring patients to the new 110,000 square foot Lompoc Valley Medical Center Hospital this morning from the old hospital on Hickory Avenue. The new facility cost $81 million and was funded through a community bond measure.

It's day one for the Lompoc Valley Medical Center hospital and the prognosis? So far, so good.

"We transferred 15 patients over all without incident," said Jim White, the hospital's Chief Information Officer.

Inside, the 60-bed facility boasts better technology and all new equipment from nursing stations to emergency rooms.

"I think what stands out is its design. It does not have the look and feel of an institutional, sterile hospital environment," White said.

Peaceful pictures even make way to reveal medical equipment. Dr. David Mcaninch is a long time radiologist and says the changes will mean a major improvement in patient care.

"We're completely paperless and the turnaround time for the imaging studies is going to be real fast," Mcaninch said.

He's also a board member responsible for making the new hospital a reality.

"It seemed like sort of an impossible dream when we went into it. It just seemed like, how could we do this? we don't have any money," Mcaninch said.

Of the $81 million required to build this new, state of the art facility, 75 million came directly from the community in the form of a 2005 bond measure and it passed in record setting fashion.

"87 percent was a huge voter positive response. We were very pleased with that and we tried not to let them down," White said.

After five years of waiting, they can finally see the results.

The old hospital officially closed down this morning. Some staff said despite the problems, they were sad to leave, but look forward to helping even more patients.

Lompoc Valley Medical Center is historic. It was the first public healthcare organization in California. It was created in 1946 by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

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