By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Guam Memorial Hospital is expected to award soon the contract for demolition of the vacant Z-wing portion of the building, which is among the major capital improvement projects scheduled for this year.
GMH officials said plans for the projects have been finalized. "We anticipate beginning the demolition phase permitting process this month," GMH said in a press release.
The multi-phased capital improvement includes the demolition of approximately 85 percent of the building, 2) a small salvaged footprint on the first floor, which will be used for additional office space, and 3) an expansion of parking spaces at the hospital.
Another project involving roof and envelope repair is currently in the award phase and is expected to wrap up by late 2022.
"This will enhance the structural and mechanical integrity of the hospital during heavy rainfall, mitigating against potential leaks," hospital officials said.
These projects aim to ensure the longevity of the aging government hospital until a new hospital is built.
“It’s no secret our building is old. We’ve been working to maintain it for years and these major CIP undertakings will ensure this facility is fully functional, with a safe environment of care, until our move to the new hospital,” said William Kando, GMH associate administrator of operations.
“These upgrades will ensure our infrastructure lives up to the excellent healthcare our teams deliver," he added.
GMH said its major pursuit for this year is to get accredited through the Center of Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ). This organization has been given the full, six-year deeming authority by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), meaning it is one of the most trustworthy, credible, and reliable accrediting bodies in the nation.
“We are on a relentless pursuit to provide excellent, accessible healthcare for our island. Covid might delay us, but it will certainly not hold us back in our mission and goals,” said Lillian Perez-Posadas, GMH administrator and CEO.
GMH said it ss coordinating with Accreditation Resources Services to schedule mock surveys to ensure a smooth transition towards achieving and maintaining accreditation.
GMH is a CMS-certified facility, and its laboratory is CAP and CLIA accredited. The CIHQ accreditation will be an added seal of approval, reflective of the national standards of healthcare provided at our hospital.
In addition to the major projects, there are simultaneous smaller-scale repairs and upgrades. These include operating room surgical light updates, HVAC upgrades, and the Emergency Room rotunda ceiling renovation.
Beyond physical upgrades, the GMH clinical teams will soon employ updated technology and programming for patient care.
The hospital plans to launch the long-awaited Electronic Health Records system, which has been delayed due to the many Covid waves on Guam. The new EHR program will digitize all of our medical records, along with the patient registration and physician charting processes.
The new program will also include the launch of an online patient portal, where GMH patients may access their records, schedule appointments, pay bills and speak to their providers online, in a one-stop secure portal.
GMH is also following through on the Alternate Care Facility plans for the Skilled Nursing Facility in Barrigada Heights. The improvements will include the isolation of the B-Wing, to ensure the safety of SNF residents, should there be a need to treat Covid patients at the ACF, in response to the ongoing pandemic.
Two 134-ton chillers have already been manufactured and installed at the SNF as part of the emergency preparedness upgrades.
Additionally, GMH is awaiting the arrival of multi-purpose patient/ resident beds at the SNF, along with IT infrastructure improvements that support the facility’s operations, and other ancillary support equipment.