The hospital occupancy rate is a management indicator that provides information on the hospital’s service capacity, helping to assess whether there are missing or empty beds and to know about the usability of the spaces. With this index, it is possible to dimension the usage profile, the replacement intervals, and the average stay of users in the establishment.
We emphasize that the hospital occupancy rate is calculated by the percentage of the number of patients seen daily and the number of beds available in the hospital. It must be remembered that blocked beds are excluded from this calculation.
How important is it to monitor the hospital occupancy rate indicator?
The hospital occupancy rate is an index that provides important information for assessments and decision-making. We will explain below what are the main reasons for monitoring this variable. See more!
Knowledge of the hospital’s occupational capacity
Managers must know about the hospital’s service capacity. The control and monitoring of this information assist in the assessment of the possibility of new patients entering and the movements of users between the different sectors of the hospital, such as the infirmary, ICU, and operating rooms. In this way, it is possible to carry out the activities and offer authorization safely, contributing to the quality of care and welcoming to the user.
Providing a more efficient service for patients
Hospital management requires the analysis of several indicators together. By comparing the bed occupancy rate with the death rates, infections, and length of stay, it is possible to assess whether hospitalizations are too long, whether it is necessary to invest more in disinfection, training, and protective equipment, for example. Thus, when monitoring the hospital occupation index, it is feasible to propose strategies to remedy problems and offer better services to patients.
Reduced maintenance costs
Bed maintenance is an expensive process for the hospital, involving cleaning, disinfection, and maintenance costs. In this context, it is important to have accurate and quality information, to ensure that the investments involved are better utilized and reduced within the possible limits. The more you know about the feature, the better the management is.
Analysis of bed quality
To analyze the quality of the beds, it is important to evaluate several indicators together, both quantitative and qualitative. The objective is to check if there is adequate availability and if the treatments are being effective. For this, it is necessary to observe the bed occupancy rate, the replacement interval, the average length of stay, the infection rate, the discharge rate, the readmission rate, among many others.
Improved use of the structure
Lack of evaluation and establishment of plans and disorganization can result in delays, idle beds, and poor management of resources, with shortages and excesses that hinder the logistics of the institution and the provision of health services. With concise management and adequate monitoring of the occupancy rate, it is possible to better plan the replenishment of stock. This contributes so that employees always have the necessary items in hand to meet the demands and to offer the precise answer to the questions presented. In this way, service is optimized, avoiding delays and unforeseen circumstances.
Optimization of decision making
Decision-making in the management of a health institution must be based on solid and structured data, updated and carefully monitored. This is important to avoid mistakes and actions that are based only on intuitions and inaccuracies. Solid and robust planning is structured based on the analysis of indicators such as the hospital occupancy rate, contributing to the understanding of the global state of the hospital and the variables associated with each context.
What data does the hospital occupancy rate indicator present?
The hospital occupancy rate indicator helps to understand variables such as turnover, occupation time, and idleness. This allows for more precise planning of all processes. In the coronavirus pandemic, for example, hospital managers can take steps to avoid a shortage of beds in the institution by analyzing this indicator. COVID-19 is a disease that requires a long ICU stay, increasing hospital occupancy rates in intensive care.
Thus, it is possible to plan expansions of structure and purchase of equipment to welcome patients. Monitoring the hospital occupancy rate is essential for solid and adequate management of the establishment. Management indicators contribute to an adequate understanding of the institution’s reality, helping to make decisions in line with needs. This contributes to improving the structure so that employees perform their duties in the best possible conditions.