A state healthcare agency reported that all the beds at Lake City Medical Center were full as of Monday afternoon, but the hospital says the bare numbers don’t tell the entire story.
As of 2 p.m. Monday, the hospital’s 107 beds were all full, including the 18 Intensive Care Unit beds, according to numbers published online at https://tinyurl.com/vvuv4bk by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, a state-run group. Most of those were not covid-19 patients, according to Lake City Medical Center spokesperson Noah Walker.
“Over the past few weeks, the majority of our ICU patients have been admitted for health concerns unrelated to covid-19,” Walker said.
What’s more, the data only provides a snapshot in time, and occupancy rates can swing wildly throughout the day.
“It fluxes based on patient load within a defined time period,” said Lake City Medical Center spokesperson Noah Walker.
Walker released a statement addressing the bed count.
“It is important to understand that reported bed capacity is based on licensed bed capacity and is a fluctuating figure that routinely changes through the course of the day as patients are admitted and discharged,” Walker said in the statement. “Hospitals report numbers to AHCA consistently, but again these numbers can fluctuate from day to day. Like many hospitals, we routinely operate at high capacity rates and have surge plans in place that allow for expanding our capacity beyond the licensed bed number.”
Covid-19 patients are placed in their own separate unit, Walker wrote, and most patients in recent weeks most ICU patients were admitted “for health concerns unrelated to covid-19.”
Lake City Medical Center CEO Rick Naegler issued an additional statement.
“Even with being in the middle of a covid-19 Pandemic, people still experience severe and emergency non-covid related symptoms that they need to address,” Naegler said in the statement. “We are here to keep you safe and care for you as we always have been.”
According to the Agency for Healthcare Administration, Shands Lake Shore Hospital had 17 beds full and 15 available as of Monday afternoon. Two ICU beds were full, with another three free for patients. However, the hospital is scheduled to close on August 31.