North Arundel Hospital closed a 27-bed surgical floor yesterday because patients aren't staying in hospitals as long as they used to, a hospital spokeman said.
"We're still getting a high rate of admission. But the length of stay keeps going down," said Kevin Murnane.
The average length of stay for patients in the Glen Burnie hospital used to be six days. Now it is less than five days.
"We're doing what HMOs are dictating: Get your patients treated and on their way," Mr. Murnane said.
About 30 nurses and assistants who worked on floor 4C will be reassigned to other floors, Mr. Murnane said.
Mr. Murnane said hospital officials are looking at other possible uses for the floor.
"We'll probably redefine some of the things we do and maybe specialize in some other disease like senior health," he said.
The decision to close the floor was made Friday, he said.