Many Washington hospitals facing patient capacity crisis

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane hospitals are nearing 100 percent capacity, a strain that’s felt throughout the state.

“Deaconess is a little more full than Valley,” said Gregory Repetti, president of Multi-Care. “Were running about 105, Valley is running about 95 percent…were very very tight for beds.”

The Washington Hospital Association is calling it a “capacity crisis.”

Repetti says this time, it’s not just COVID patients filling up beds.

“The biggest impact that COVID has had is that our availability to move patients out of acute care when they need to go to like a nursing home or a post-acute facility, and they’re being hit with COVID as well, and it’s really impacting staffing,” Repetti said.

A lot of patients who can’t make decisions for themselves need a court-ordered guardian. They can’t be moved to the next level of care until they get one.

“There’s a real, real slow process to get those appointed by the courts,” Repetti said.

At Providence, they are seeing issues with capacity at their post-acute centers. The facility says many factors come into play for their capacity issues.

“Some of the contributing factors include not having enough room in nursing homes, adult family homes, and other post-acute care settings to take patients who no longer need acute care, increasing demand for health care services, and ongoing staff shortages,” Providence said in a statement.

Staffing shortages are also affecting both healthcare systems. At Providence, even if a bed is available, if they don’t have the staff to care for that patient, that bed stays empty.

READ: Washington hospitals again strained by COVID-19 spread