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EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS: New capacity metric finds 6 ED beds per 10,000 ED visits in California hospitals

Our novel metrics capturing both supply of beds and visit demand demonstrate that recent trends of hospital supply may be insufficient to keep pace with growing ED patient demand and evolving, complex medical conditions.”

The change in supply of emergency department facilities and in demand for emergency care in California hospitals from 2005 to 2014 was studied using data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).  The total number of ED visits in California increased by about one-third over this ten-year period, reaching a total of over 13 million visits in 2015, or 342 ED visits/1,000 population.  The number of emergency departments in California remained about the same – 339 facilities in 2014 – but the number of ED beds increased about 30 percent to 7663 in 2014.

The researchers developed a new metric – ED bed supply per ED visit.  Over the ten-year study period, there was a small decrease of about 4 percent in this metric.  It was roughly 6 ED beds per 10,000 ED visits in both 2005 and 2014.

Sources:

Chow, J.L., Niedzwiecki, M.J., and Hsia, R.Y. (2017, May 11). Trends in the supply of California’s emergency departments and inpatient services, 2005-2014: A retrospective analysis. BMJ Open, 7(5).  Click here for free full text: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/5/e014721.full.pdf

For more information on OSHPD data, click here: https://www.oshpd.ca.gov/HID/

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org