Gupta said the scoring system originally allowed restaurants to correct violations without penalty because the health department has long permitted businesses to fix violations to avoid being shut down. Inspectors still list the violations on a restaurant's inspection sheet but write "fixed" beside them.
Ray said the health department also would have to address sanitarians' workload before rolling out the scoring system countywide.
The health department introduced a new laptop-based health inspection system in August. Ray said all the sanitarians are using the system but are not completely comfortable with it.
She said it takes inspectors longer to complete their reports, so they are not performing as many inspections as under the old paper-based system.
"It's hurting our productivity somewhat. That's just something we're going to have to work through in time," she said.
Ray said the software still hasn't been programmed to print inspection forms with color-coded bars at the bottom.
Currently, the sanitarian working in the South Charleston/Corridor G area must complete his inspection reports using the new software and then turn his report over to a clerk who retypes all the information into a template with a corresponding rating bar.
Despite the problems, Gupta said he expects the new rating system to begin countywide on Feb. 1.
"Overall it's been well accepted," he said.
Ray said she expects the bugs will be worked out by then.
"We're getting closer and closer every day. It's just not an easy thing," she said.