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Annual bed statistics give a misleading picture of hospital surge capacity.
Ann Emerg Med. 2006 Oct; 48(4):384-8, 388.e1-2.AE

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE

I describe how annual hospital surge capacity is affected by within-year variation in patient volume and bed supply.

METHODS

Surge capacity was measured as the percentage and total number of hospital beds that are not occupied by patients. Administrative data were used to calculate these bed statistics for 78 hospitals in New Jersey--statewide and by emergency planning regions--in 2003. Annual bed statistics were compared to more refined calculations for each day of the year. Calculated numbers of empty beds were compared to federal disaster planning benchmarks.

RESULTS

Annual bed statistics showed no major limitations on surge capacity. Statewide occupancy rates were well below 80% (ie, more than 20% of beds were empty), and the number of empty beds that were set up and staffed (ie, maintained) was well above federal disaster planning benchmarks. In contrast, daily bed statistics reveal long periods in 2003 when regional and statewide surge capacity was severely strained. Strained capacity was most likely to occur on Tuesdays through Fridays and least likely to occur on weekends. On 212 days, statewide occupancy of maintained beds met or exceeded 85%. This occupancy rate met or exceeded 90% and 95% on 88 and 4 days, respectively. On 288 days, the statewide number of empty maintained beds fell below the federal planning benchmark.

CONCLUSION

Annual bed statistics give a misleading picture of hospital surge capacity. Analysis of surge capacity should account for daily variation in patient volume and within-year variation in bed supply.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for State Health Policy, The Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, Rutgers, The State University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1340, USA. ddelia@ifh.rutgers.edu

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16997673

Citation

DeLia, Derek. "Annual Bed Statistics Give a Misleading Picture of Hospital Surge Capacity." Annals of Emergency Medicine, vol. 48, no. 4, 2006, pp. 384-8, 388.e1-2.
DeLia D. Annual bed statistics give a misleading picture of hospital surge capacity. Ann Emerg Med. 2006;48(4):384-8, 388.e1-2.
DeLia, D. (2006). Annual bed statistics give a misleading picture of hospital surge capacity. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 48(4), 384-8, e1-2.
DeLia D. Annual Bed Statistics Give a Misleading Picture of Hospital Surge Capacity. Ann Emerg Med. 2006;48(4):384-8, 388.e1-2. PubMed PMID: 16997673.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Annual bed statistics give a misleading picture of hospital surge capacity. A1 - DeLia,Derek, Y1 - 2006/02/28/ PY - 2005/08/16/received PY - 2006/01/05/revised PY - 2006/01/18/accepted PY - 2006/9/26/pubmed PY - 2006/10/18/medline PY - 2006/9/26/entrez SP - 384-8, 388.e1-2 JF - Annals of emergency medicine JO - Ann Emerg Med VL - 48 IS - 4 N2 - STUDY OBJECTIVE: I describe how annual hospital surge capacity is affected by within-year variation in patient volume and bed supply. METHODS: Surge capacity was measured as the percentage and total number of hospital beds that are not occupied by patients. Administrative data were used to calculate these bed statistics for 78 hospitals in New Jersey--statewide and by emergency planning regions--in 2003. Annual bed statistics were compared to more refined calculations for each day of the year. Calculated numbers of empty beds were compared to federal disaster planning benchmarks. RESULTS: Annual bed statistics showed no major limitations on surge capacity. Statewide occupancy rates were well below 80% (ie, more than 20% of beds were empty), and the number of empty beds that were set up and staffed (ie, maintained) was well above federal disaster planning benchmarks. In contrast, daily bed statistics reveal long periods in 2003 when regional and statewide surge capacity was severely strained. Strained capacity was most likely to occur on Tuesdays through Fridays and least likely to occur on weekends. On 212 days, statewide occupancy of maintained beds met or exceeded 85%. This occupancy rate met or exceeded 90% and 95% on 88 and 4 days, respectively. On 288 days, the statewide number of empty maintained beds fell below the federal planning benchmark. CONCLUSION: Annual bed statistics give a misleading picture of hospital surge capacity. Analysis of surge capacity should account for daily variation in patient volume and within-year variation in bed supply. SN - 1097-6760 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16997673/Annual_bed_statistics_give_a_misleading_picture_of_hospital_surge_capacity_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0196-0644(06)00089-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -