Texas hospitals in the path of the approaching Hurricane Rita prepared for the worst today. HCA reported that three of the company's hospitals in the Houston area were being evacuated and two more were being partially evacuated. Meanwhile, Memorial Hermann was actively discharging patients throughout the system who were well enough to leave, in order to maximize staffing and free up hospital beds for those who may need them after the storm. As of this morning, just 15 patients remained at Fort Bend Hospital, while Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital had completed its evacuation of patients to other Memorial Hermann hospitals, which began Wednesday. The Texas Hospital Association reported that Galveston had cleared out its two hospitals. The majority of Houston hospitals were "staying put," considering it would be nearly impossible to evacuate 16,000 beds at 72 hospitals, a spokeswoman said. "Hospitals have learned some valuable lessons from Katrina," the spokeswoman said. "They have made infrastructure changes that will allow them to weather a pretty significant storm." -- by Cinda Becker
Texas hospitals prepare for Hurricane Rita
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