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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Texas A&M: What Happens When a Hospital is Full?

The United States has more than 5,200 hospitals with nearly 800,000 fully-staffed beds. Yet, certain hospitals struggle to keep up with the demands of their communities. It is not uncommon for hospitals or an emergency room to become full and for prospective patients to experience long waits in certain situations. Dr. Murray Côté, associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, explains what happens when a hospital runs out of room – and what that means for a patient. Specifically, he addresses diversions when a hospital reaches capacity; hospital capacity in rural settings; the role of freestanding emergency rooms; and what to do in case of an emergency.