Originally slated to relinquish control of operations Sept. 1, St. Joseph Health will remain as the operator of Petaluma Valley Hospital (PVH) for an unspecified amount of time.

Paladin Healthcare, which was chosen earlier this year to replace St. Joseph, will forge a new agreement with the Petaluma Health Care District once St. Joseph transfers operations back to the District.

As a result of St. Joseph Health’s decision years ago to make PVH’s Information Technology platform part of a remote, regional system, a new independent system for the hospital must be built and paid for before hospital operations may be transferred, the District announced Wednesday.

Based on an analysis of the existing system and extensive communication with the existing system’s vendors, development of a new platform will take from eight to 12 months from the date final agreements are signed, which has yet to be determined.

St. Joe’s, Paladin, and the District will contribute to the cost of the system, said Ramona Faith, CEO of the District.

The new platform will be similar to what exists at PVH now, to ensure familiarity for and continuity with staff. The process is both highly complex and expensive. All parties will contribute financing to the system build-out through different methods, the District said.

Another time and effort-intensive aspect of the PVH transition is the need for interconnected and complementary agreements that formally document and guide St. Joseph Health’s surrender of operations and Paladin’s assumption of hospital operations.

In addition, the terms of Paladin’s lease of the hospital facility and operations of the hospital over the term of the lease must be completed, a somewhat painstaking process that is mired in small details, the District said.

This combination of factors has slowed the process down and significantly delayed the date on which Paladin is able to assume the operation of PVH.

In the interim, St. Joseph Health has agreed for now to continue to operate PVH until a new finite transition date can be determined.

“Everybody wishes this wasn’t as complex as it is, but we’re actively engaged in discussions, and working towards a definitive agreement,” Faith said.

CORRECTION: The transfer agreement is between St. Joseph Health and the District, not Paladin.