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Health Care

July 27, 1993|James M. Gomez / Times staff writer

Adding Beds: Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center is changing its image.

By year's end, the 293-bed hospital at the corner of Euclid Street and Warner Avenue will add an additional 120 beds, making it the fourth largest hospital in Orange County and Fountain Valley's largest employer.

The addition is in keeping with a growing practice by hospital administrators: Increase capacity not simply by adding beds, but by developing new programs to attract more patients.

In Fountain Valley Regional Hospital's case, said administrator Richard Butler, the hospital is adding 40 new beds to its first floor in what the hospital calls a "geropsychiatric" unit.

Geropsychiatry treats elderly patients who suffer from depression, anxiety and other disorders that occur because of their age. "You'll see a fair amount of depression in this age group," Butler said.

The hospital is also devoting 80 new beds to a transitional care ward. Such wards are used for patients who are not sick enough to require 24-hour attention, but are too sick to be cared for at home or at nursing homes.

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