KDMC hits full capacity again in ’09

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A busy 24 hours at King’s Daughters Medical Center is expectedto conclude Wednesday as the hospital eases down from fulldiversion, a full capacity status reached late Tuesday.

KDMC Chief Executive Officer Alvin Hoover said a combination ofthe hospital’s busiest season for illnesses and some rooms beingout of service for renovation caused the hospital to fill tocapacity. Only critical patients are accepted during fulldiversion, he said, while less serious cases are transferred -usually to Jackson or McComb hospitals.

“After the doctors make their rounds this morning we’ll sendsome people home and some beds will clear up,” Hoover saidWednesday.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

KDMC’s Tuesday fill-up marked the second attainment of fulldiversion this year. And while the lack of beds may inconvenienceincoming patients, Hoover said full diversion would have a positiveimpact on the hospital.

The capacity status adds to what has been a good start for thehospital in 2009, recording higher patient volumes in December,January and February. Low patient volumes and uninsured patientscost KDMC almost $1 million in 2008, forcing more than 20 layoffsbeginning in December.

“It’s always good when you’re working at your capacity,” hesaid. “For us, it’s our busiest time of the year, the time we makeour margin. What we’ve been able to do through the winter months isfight back against our losses last fall, and we’re starting to comeout on the other side of that now.”

Meanwhile, KDMC Director of Emergency Medical Services TerrySingleton said the hospital has called in extra ER staff and has anextra ambulance standing by to deal with full diversion.

“It really does cause problems with delays for patients whomight have to be transferred to other facilities to be admitted,”he said. “We do everything in our power to accommodate the patientsand make it as seamless as possible.”

Singleton said full diversion was caused by a “hodgepodge” ofillnesses admitted Tuesday evening. He said full diversion isusually reached overnight.