What Actually Is Hospital Occupancy Rate?
The occupancy rate, for example, is used to show the utilization of a healthcare facility for a said period of time. This rate is generally expressed in percent with an additional term such as; percent occupancy, occupancy ratio or percentage of occupancy. Every hospital tends to calculate its occupancy rate regularly and also calculate its average at the hospital, country and even state level. Calculation of hospital occupancy rate is pretty essential as it helps in better planning and improvement of strategies in a hospital. However, in order to find out the annual average of hospital occupancy rate two things are required i.e. occupied bed days and Available bed days.
- Occupied bed days: It is also known as inpatient care days, census patient care days or total inpatient service days. Hospitals calculate their occupied bed days by simply summing up together the daily inpatient count for 365 days (the whole year).
- Available bed days: Some alternative expressions for this are; maximum patient days, total inpatient bed count day or potential days. This is calculated by multiplying the total number of beds filled daily in 365 days of the year to accommodate patients. For instance, if there were 30 beds filled then the available bed days would be 30 x 365, which makes a total of 10950.
When you have the data of these two aforementioned things then you can easily calculate the annual average occupancy rate for your hospital by putting the data into the following formula;
Inpatient Days of Care / Bed Days Available x 100
What Is An Ideal Hospital Occupancy Rate?
The rate of occupancy has some effects on the profitability of the hospital as well. It has been studied that the ideal hospital occupancy rate is 85% where there is peak profitability obtained.
This is because when the occupancy rate is higher in your hospital then the call for some nurses is increased which ultimately results in hurting the self-esteem of other nurses. If the occupancy rate is below par then you would find your staff members sitting idly and the hospital’s income is decreased. But, if the case is that you are completely packed then you would have no choice but to refuse the admittance of some patients that damages the reputation of your hospital. So, when the occupancy rate is just 85% then you would have some room for an unexpected increase, and it would definitely not be so low that you would have to send some of your staff back to their homes.
How to Have a Balanced Hospital Occupancy Rate?
Well, it is certainly very important to have a balanced occupancy rate in order to have the maximum profit. Below are mentioned some basic tips that can help in having the occupancy rate of your hospital under control;
- Planning the bed allotment strategically
- Hiring adequate staff
- Managing the patient discharge
- Correct scheduling of the surgeons and patients
- Using the latest management tools like PACS and RIS vendors medical systems
- Determining how long would the patient stay in the hospital
Moreover, if you are new to DICOM or RIS medical system, do ask about it and research on it before interviewing a potential service provider for that.