New Interactive Tool Shows Pre-Pandemic Hospital Occupancy Levels in Arkansas

May 7, 2020

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John Lyon
Strategic Communications Manager

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A key factor in the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. is the need to avoid exceeding the capacity of the healthcare system, which could drive up the fatality rate. As a resource to aid in pandemic-related planning efforts of healthcare providers and policymakers, ACHI has created an interactive dashboard showing historic bed occupancy levels at Arkansas hospitals.

Located on our website’s COVID-19 in Arkansas page, the dashboard groups hospitals by size and allows the user to see how total occupancy and occupancy for different admission types varied from day to day through the 2018 calendar year for each group. A recent hospital daily census is also included for each group. Limitations on elective surgeries and surge preparation by some hospitals are reflected in the recent daily census numbers.

We used hospital discharge data to determine the daily number of occupied beds and the Clinical Classifications Software of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) to determine admission types (read more about HCUP on AHRQ’s blog). We excluded chemotherapy from the elective procedures category, deeming it a necessary procedure, and gave it its own category.

We obtained the total number of beds by using 2017 Healthcare Provider Cost Reporting Information System. The Arkansas Department of Health provided the number of beds occupied as of midnight on March 30, 2020, for the recent daily census.

See more definitions of terms and other information about the pandemic on our website’s COVID-19 in Arkansas page.

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