Crownpoint ER closes due to failed inspection 5-9-07

CROWNPOINT, N.M. (AP) - Opening the Crownpoint Health Care Facility
emergency room will take longer than expected, Navajo Nation health
officials say.

The emergency room was closed in April after federal inspectors with
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that certain
laboratory operations did not meet standards.

The agency found the hematology, bacteriology and routine chemistry
services were out of compliance. Citations involved calibration of
equipment, complying with expiration dates on solutions and
administrative oversight, said Jenny Notah, Navajo Area Indian Health
Service spokeswoman.

Setting up an alternative lab has taken longer than expected, Notah said.

“There is no definite (open) date set, but we're working hard to
provide inpatient care and emergency room care on an expanded basis
in the next few weeks,” she said.

Douglas Peter, chief medical officer for Navajo Area IHS, said
corrective actions are being made that will bring the facility into
compliance. Federal inspectors will review the hospital again in
about 90 days.

The hospital's inpatient and community health services are still open
and some testing is available.

Notah said if anyone needs care, they should go to the clinic and
they will be treated. The clinic, which serves about 20,000 Navajos,
also has a system in place to transport patients to nearby health
facilities for more advanced care.