Determining the optimal bed capacity for a hospital is not easy. There are models and methods that specialists use to determine the optimal bed capacity for hospital space. Some dynamics and variables are involved in deciding the number of emergency hospital beds. The fact remains that there is no specific number of beds for a hospital space recommended but as long as patients and caregivers have space to move around.
But hospital bed capacity is a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked right from the construction phase. From the groundbreaking to the commission phase, hospital bed capacity plays an important role in determining the number of emergency beds a hospital shall procure to meet patients’ needs.
Hospital bed capacity is still an issue in most developing countries because of the lack of proper planning from the relevant government departments. Increasing demand for hospital-based care is a challenge and it leads to constrained resources that lead to substandard care offered to hospitalised patients. Although hospital bed capacity is overlooked in many health care centres, it is actually the moving capital that caregivers and health workers rely on to deliver health care. It is therefore imperative for policymakers to inform the government and relevant departments to invest heavily in hospital bed capacity.
Determining hospital bed capacity
You cannot determine hospital bed capacity without taking into consideration the demographics, staffing patterns, and other hospital aspects. For better hospital bed management, it is important to study and understand the admission rate of patients and the supply pattern of beds in hospitals. Administrators will know when it is due to order more hospital beds and when to expand the hospital space to accommodate the extra hospital beds. These strategies are taken in an effort to reduce patient queues for admission. Insufficient empty beds available at any given time affects the quality of healthcare offered by a hospital institution. Patients waiting for some hours before admission due to a lack of available emergency beds cause a lack of patient satisfaction and might in some cases lead to calamities right in front of a hospital such as patients’ health deteriorating beyond and even death because of lack of immediate attention from health workers.
Initiatives to improve hospital bed capacity
A lot can be done to improve hospital bed capacity, in terms of capital, relevant departments ought to set aside funds for expanding hospital infrastructures and equipping them with the right number of emergency hospital beds. And have some extra emergency hospital beds not in use count in during the influx of patients in the hospital. A good example is during the Covid-19 pandemic hospital bed capacity bore a lot of pressure to contain patients beyond its capacities, without extra emergency beds, things could be different.
Regular maintenance is critical in determining hospital bed capacity, without maintenance, some beds may not be suitable for use after extensive use, considering wheels which sometimes go through extreme wear and tear to the point of being unstable. Regular repair and maintenance help update the hospital’s bed capacity so that just enough patients can be admitted at a particular time. As hospital beds become unsuitable for patient use, new supplies should be initiated and while in transit, the hospital capacity should reduce accordingly. Only beds in conditions should account for overall hospital capacity.