Hospital Occupancy — Bed Complement

  • Brant E. Fries
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Medical Informatics book series (LNMED, volume 10)


A hospital, like any facility or subfacility providing services on an unscheduled basis, must balance the productivity of high utilization with the probability of being fully occupied and having to refuse service. The administrator has essentially three controls upon these two measures: the bed complement, the admissions of elective patients, and the length of stay of patients within the hospital. These problems of management are complicated by various restrictions placed upon beds which prevent their use by all patients and thus increase the necessary number of beds. For example, use of.beds is restricted by sex, age (pediatric, adult), service (medical, surgical, etc.), privacy (private, semi-private, ward), and other features (intensive care units, psychiatric, perinatal, etc.).


Elective Patient Elective Admission Obstetric Facility Cardiac Ward Hospital Occupancy 
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  1. 1).
    This assumption was shown to be false by Newell (“Problems in Estimating the Demand for Hospital Beds,” J. Chron. Dis. 17:749–759, 1964).Google Scholar
  2. Feldstein (“Improving the Use of Hospital Maternity Beds,” Opns. Res. 16:65–76, 1967) found that bed scarcity had a fifty percent greater effect on the number of patients treated than on the average stay per case.Google Scholar
  3. 2).
    Commission on Hospital Care, Hospital Care in the United States, The Commonwealth Fund, New York (1947).Google Scholar
  4. 1).
    This policy was originally examined in a doctoral thesis by Young, J.P., A Queuing Theory Approach to the Control of Hospital Inpatient Census, Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore (1962), abstracted in Opns. Res. 11: 167–170 (1963).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heideiberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brant E. Fries
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale School of Organization and ManagementNew HavenUSA

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