The reason for closing the unit is to free up more beds for other services.
A hospital official said the increasing demand for hospital services, especially in the areas of cancer, transfers of the severely ill and emergency services, has forced it to carefully evaluate the best way to care for the greatest number of patients.
Greg Stiegmann, Vice President for Clinical Affairs for the University of Colorado Hospital, said this was not a decision they took lightly.
“We’ve tried a number of alternatives. We converted as many private rooms to two bedrooms. We looked at mobile bed units, and we’ve also looked at converting waiting rooms to patient rooms. This frankly was the last straw,” said Stiegmann.
The University of Colorado Hospital’s inpatient programs served 19,000 individuals, including 735 inpatient psychiatric patients, last year.
In a statement issued Monday it said, “Reconfiguring the inpatient psychiatric unit will release the restricted environment needed for inpatient psychiatry for hundreds of other patients in need of medical services, and improve the hospital’s ability to better serve the community.”
The hospital’s outpatient psychiatric services will remain available to all patients.
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