The patient beds are filling up faster than ever before at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland. It's crowded enough for some patients to be turned away.
The president of Kadlec says the medical center is close to operating at licensed capacity. Recently Kadlec has filled up to 90 percent of their available bed space every day, which is well above the state's target figure of 70 percent.
To try and keep up the hospital has added 300 new employees in the past year.
"We're bumping up against capacity issues Kadlec president Lane Savitch said. "It's increasingly common for us not to have any room for patients."
When that happens staff must turn patients away and send them to other hospitals.
"We obviously hate to do that but we also can't sacrifice care," Savitch said.
To fix the crowding problem the Savitch says is due to more available services and improved access for people, staff is working to get more beds.
To use other available space to put in more beds, Kadlec must wait for state approval. In the mean time there are plans to build out the upper four floors of the River Pavilion area of the hospital to create more private rooms and more than 100 beds.