You asked: Southampton Memorial Hospital is not closing

Published 10:47 am Saturday, August 4, 2012

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You asked: Is the hospital getting ready to close? Has the patient load dropped?

FRANKLIN—Southampton Memorial Hospital has no intentions to close, Chief Executive Officer Phil Wright said Friday.

Wright said the patient-load has dropped compared to last year, but attributed that to a trend for more outpatient procedures, improvements in technology and the slower economy.

“It is also typical for the summer census to drop as physicians and other providers utilize vacation time,” Wright said.

The number of patients in the outpatient and emergency department has increased over the past two years and continues to be an area of growth.

The hospital wouldn’t release figures in support of this.

The hospital also has not told local doctors to stop admitting patients, Wright said.

He said many local doctors treat patients outside the hospital and use a hospitalist, or doctor specializing in hospital care for hospital needs.

“The hospitalist concept is not new and healthcare instiutions all across the country utilize a service such as this,” he said.