Don't have any answers. But from a med-surg standpoint nothing is more nerve wracking than having your license on the line with a critical care patient in need of a bed that is non-existent. I've waited as long a 12 hours for a bed once, doing on-on one with a hypotensive patient, being in charge and taking care of a patient waiting for a bed.
During bed crunches I've had critical care nurses come to the unit to see if they really need to be transferred. "Oh they are breathing and alert, so it will be a while for you to get the bed" or "call the doctor back, they don't need critical care". Obviously there are bogus transfers, but critical care nurses don't realize sometimes that even if a patient is perfusing with a bp of 50/20 and responded well to a bolus, we don't have the manpower or training to monitor the patient for problems and changes frequently.
But that wasn't what you were talking about, you are talking customer service and I'm off topic. My take is that for the betterment and safety of the crashing patient, move the patient and tell the patient to finish breakfast on the step down floor. Custoemr service is 99% approach and attitude. Sure they will get upset, but if you've had a good rapport with them all along it would work.
Anyway that's my two cents. Would be nice to have a unit that for everytime the unit is full, it grows an empty bed and a nurse ready and waiting for the next in-house crash.