Management decision of hospital surge: assessing seasonal upsurge in inpatient medical bed occupancy rate among public acute hospitals in Hong Kong
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AbstractBackground
There were recurrent upsurges in demand for public hospital services in Hong Kong. An understanding of the
contribution of some possible factors for the rise in health care burden would help to inform hospital management
strategies.

Aim
To evaluate the utilization patterns of hospitalizations in medical wards among public acute hospitals in Hong Kong
during surge periods.

Design
Retrospective study.

Methods
By extracting the information in press releases between 2014 and 2018, descriptive statistics about medical ward
occupancy situation during six surge periods were generated. A time series model was constructed to estimate the occupancy rate at each hospital and assess its relationship with the intensity of seasonal influenza activity, extreme weather, day of week and long holidays.

Results
There was a significant increase in the number of admissions to medical wards in all six surge periods. A significant
variation in occupancy rate between weekdays and geographic regions was observed. The occupancy rate in 10, out of 15, hospitals was significantly associated with the influenza activity, while there was limited effect of weather on the occupancy rate. A significant holiday effect was observed during Christmas and Chinese New Year, resulting in a lower bed occupancy rate.

Conclusions
A differential burden in public hospitals during surge periods was reported. Contingency bed and staff management
shall be tailored to individual hospitals, given their differences in the determinants for inpatient bed occupancy.
Acceptance Date05/10/2018
All Author(s) ListPoon CM, Wong ELY, Chau PYK, Yau SY, Yeoh EK
Journal nameQJM: An International Journal of Medicine
Year2019
Month1
Volume Number112
Issue Number1
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages11 - 16
ISSN1460-2725
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2020-07-08 at 02:06