A greater percentage of the hospital facilities of the United States were occupied during 1940 than for any other year for which records are available. The proportion of general hospital beds in use has risen during the past year from 69.2 per cent to 70.3 per cent. This is the first year that the occupancy of general hospitals has risen above 70 per cent. This is in strict contrast with the situation in 1933, when there was only 59.9 per cent occupancy. Where is the saturation point? What is a reasonable supply of facilities per given unit of population?
The numerous studies that have been made by competent persons have led to some helpful conclusions. General hospitals cannot have their beds 100 per cent occupied. As an emergency institution a general hospital does not have patients waiting in line. Time is required to prepare a room after the discharge of