A Simple Method to Forecast Future Bed Requirements: A Pragmatic Alternative to Queuing Theory
Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research,
Aims: To review the current state of hospital bed planning, and to develop a simple tool to estimate short-term future bed requirements using historical bed occupancy data.
Study Design: Analysis of daily bed occupancy between January 2008 and October 2015. Synthesis of trends into a method for forecasting bed numbers for each day of the year.
Place and Duration of Study: Daily occupied bed statistics for King’s College University Hospital, a large London Teaching Hospital having 1,600 beds.
Methodology: An eight-year time-series of daily midnight bed occupancy covering elective, emergency and transfer admissions has been used to estimate the number of beds required to deliver a delay-free hospital.
Results: In this large 1,600 bed hospital it is estimated that 100 extra beds (a 6.3% increase) are required to deliver delay free admissions, i.e. no delays to admission from the emergency department or delays due to cancelled elective operations.
Conclusion: The analysis reveals that far higher flexibility is required in staffing levels than is currently available. Potential strategies are discussed to address this issue.
- Hospital bed modelling
- optimum occupancy
- trend analysis
- health policy
- queuing theory
- delay to admission
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