Midtown Medical Center weighs in on patient wait times

Midtown Medical Center weighs in on patient wait times

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus, GA (WTVM) - Volume rates are up again at Midtown Medical Center. The Marketing Director says for July, volume was up 5 percent in comparison to July 2014.

"It's not necessarily, completely a shortage of beds, it's how are you managing the beds that you have," said Jacqueline Herd, Vice President of Nursing when asked if the increase in volume meant a shortage of beds.

Many people say Midtown's volume is increasing because it merged with Doctor's Hospital in 2014. Herd says that there are no expansions planned right now, so she is focusing on efficiency. 

Herd was hired three months ago and already has implemented a number of different things to address the increase in volume, including what she calls "double occupancy."

"We ask our patients, is it okay if we have double occupancy, instead of single? Some of our patients have said no and we respect that and others have said yes." Herd says double occupancy is only implemented if needed.

In March, Midtown Medical Center released a statement stating that volume was up 12.5 percent in February of this year in comparison to February 2014. In the same statement, the Director of Marketing said they were addressing the increase in volume over the next several weeks by adding two beds to ICU and 25 beds to another unit.

Herd says the two beds have already been added to ICU, and the other 25 beds will be added by January.

Many people shared their experiences of long wait times on our Facebook page. One viewer wrote "My brother which is disabled and from a nursing home had spent 2 days in the ER waiting on a bed!" Another wrote "My mother and son had to wait more than 48 hours in the ER before being moved upstairs. Administration said there was not any rooms available."

Despite the Facebook comments, Herd says the average wait time for a bed is 8-12 hours.

"Our goal is to make sure our sickest patients are in the beds. So it's not about who is in line, who is next… it's about making sure our sickest patients are in the right area where they need to be." said Herd.

Midtown Medical Center did respond to the comments on our Facebook page encouraging people to inbox them directly, so that they can address their issues.

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