I notice that the Lewis County General Hospital is considering reducing their number of available in-patient beds from 54 to 25. I would be interested in knowing what their normal occupancy level is as well as what the requirements are during periods of peak usage.
I believe that 25 beds may be fine during normal circumstances, but I suspect that numerous times the occupancy rate, in all probability, has exceeded their 54-bed capacity and patients would need to be sent to other facilities.
Such other facilities were doubtless well saturated at these times as well. With the population of Lewis County and environs, I cannot imagine an in-patient capacity of 25 would be at all adequate.
Samaritan Medical Center is moving to all private rooms. Medically and for reasons of patient comfort, this is as it should be.
Perhaps LCGH could move in the same direction and only put one patient per room.
Hence a basic reduction similar to that considered. But with the difference that extra beds are available for use in these private rooms when the in-patient requirements so demand.
With all the wonderful progress LCGH is making in so many areas, it would seem to be not proper to lower their in-patient capacity at this time.
While LCGH will likely never become a large medical-trauma center with complete one-stop care for all medical needs, it cannot be reduced to a Band-Aid station either.
Joseph O. Perry