End of year brings max capacity to Rogue Valley hospitals

MEDFORD, Ore.– As the end of the year nears and flu season begins to hit its peak, hospitals are seeing an increase in patients.

Both Medford hospitals are working to fulfill the needs of the community, but in some cases, patients are being asked to hold off on elective surgeries.

On Tuesday, Providence Medford Medical Center held off any elective surgeries as all 119 of its beds were currently occupied. In order to ensure there were enough beds for patients dealing with emergency illnesses as well, many of the non-emergent surgeries had to be shuffled around.

Dr. Jason Kuhl, chief medical officer at Providence, explained how at the end of the year and with flu season, Medford hospitals are servicing a variety of needs in the community leading them to hit capacity at times as they did on Tuesday.

“We have patients coming in with heart attacks, pneumonia, the flu, in additional to any operative cases that we have,” said Kuhl.

Along with dealing with any illnesses, Kuhl said many people also come in to get surgeries and any other check-ins to fulfill their deductibles.

“Towards the end of the year people are coming in kind of last minute to get their deductible procedures met and what not to wrap out the year,” he said.

As Providence’s 119 beds filled up, some patients had to wait in the ER until more beds were available.

“There’s a lot of patients who may only need to be admitted overnight, especially surgical patients, but some patients may need to be here a week or longer,” explained Kuhl.

As such, elective surgeries were put off and many were moved to Wednesday in order to prevent further cramming. According to the hospital, everyone trying to meet their deductible and get a surgery before year’s end will be able to.

But as a reminder, hospitals ask that if you can, try and schedule surgeries earlier in the year to avoid any chance of being bumped.

A representative from Asante also confirmed they were at capacity this week but did not have to reschedule surgeries.

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