LCQ9: Medical inpatient bed occupancy rates


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Following is a question by the Dr Hon Pierre Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, in the Legislative Council today (February 28):

Question:

     Quite a number of public hospital doctorshave relayed to me that the medical inpatient bed occupancy rates of public hospitals published daily by the Hospital Authority (HA) during influenza surges do not reflect the actual situation.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:

(1) the following information on each of the public hospitals listed in the table below as at midnight each day from the 21st to 27th of last month: (i) medical inpatient bed occupancy rate, (ii) number of medical inpatients, (iii) actual number of medical inpatient beds, (iv) number of medical regular beds, (v) number of medical time-limited beds, (vi) number of medical temporary beds, and (vii) number of beds for other specialties occupied by medical patients due to full occupation of medical wards (set out the figures in tables of the same format as the table below);

As at midnight on January __, 2018
 
Hospital
cluster
Hospital (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii)
Hong Kong East Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital              
Ruttonjee and Tang Shiu Kin Hospitals              
Hong Kong West Queen Mary Hospital              
Kowloon Central Kwong Wah Hospital              
Queen Elizabeth Hospital              
Kowloon East Tseung Kwan O Hospital              
United Christian Hospital              
Kowloon West Caritas Medical Centre              
Princess Margaret Hospital              
Yan Chai Hospital              
New Territories East Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital              
North District Hospital              
Prince of Wales Hospital              
New
Territories West
Pok Oi Hospital              
Tuen Mun Hospital              

(2) whether the base numbers of beds used by various public hospitals for calculating medical inpatient bed occupancy rates include (i) medical time-limited beds, (ii) medical temporary beds, (iii) beds in the wards of various medical specialties (e.g. nephrology, cardiology), (iv) beds in the departments of medical sub-specialties such as rehabilitation, palliative services as well as beds in isolation wards, (v) beds for the Accident and Emergency (A&E) specialty occupied by patients waiting for admission to medical wards, and (vi) beds for other specialties occupied by medical patients;

(3) whether the numbers of medical inpatients calculated by various public hospitals include the numbers of medical patients occupying the various types of beds as follows: (i) medical time-limited beds, (ii) medical temporary beds, (iii) beds in the wards of various medical specialties (e.g. nephrology, cardiology), (iv) beds in medical sub-specialties such as rehabilitation, palliative services as well as beds in isolation wards, (v) beds for the A&E specialty, and (vi) beds for other specialties;

(4) whether the HA headquarters has issued guidelines to various public hospitals on the method for calculating medical inpatient bed occupancy rates; if so, whether HA can provide the relevant documents; if not, whether a consistent calculation method has been adopted by various hospitals;

(5) whether HA reviews regularly the usage of hospital beds in various public hospitals; if so, of the details; and

(6) whether HA will publish the actual numbers of (i) medical inpatients and (ii) medical inpatient beds in various public hospitals as at midnight each day during influenza surges, so as to enhance information transparency?

Reply:

President,

     My reply to the various parts of the question raised by the Dr Hon Pierre Chan is as follows:

(1) The medical inpatient bed occupancy rate and the number of medical inpatient patient days (which is largely the same as the number of medical inpatients on that day) in the acute hospitals under the Hospital Authority (HA) from January 21 to 27, 2018 are set out in Annex 1 while the number of medical beds in the HA's acute hospitals as at December 31, 2017 is set out in Annex 2.

     From January 21 to 27, 2018, the average number of time-limited beds for major specialties of hospitals under the HA was 569 (provisional figure) while the average number of temporary beds in acute hospitals was 1 122 (provisional figure).  Given that the HA will flexibly deploy hospital beds according to operational and clinical service needs and individual wards may receive patients from different specialties, plus the fact that beds are provided for more than one specialty in mixed specialty wards, the HA does not have a breakdown of the number of patient days for other specialties occupied by medical inpatients in Annex 1 and can only provide overall figures at hospital level.

(2) and (3) The medical inpatient bed occupancy rate means the ratio of the number of inpatients to the number of inpatient beds (covering time-limited beds) under the charge of medical departments (including such specialties as geriatrics, respiratory medicine, medical infectious disease and cardiology) as at midnight.  The methodology used in the calculation of the medical inpatient bed occupancy rate also applies to other specialties.

(4) The HA adopts a clear and consistent methodology to calculate the inpatient bed occupancy rates of various hospitals and specialties.  The statistics concerned are retrievable from the relevant information system.

(5) The HA regularly monitors the number and operation of hospital beds through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and has put in place a mechanism for clusters to report relevant situations on a quarterly basis.  It also submits reports on the KPIs to the HA Board and the Food and Health Bureau on a regular basis.

(6) During the winter surge period, the HA provides daily service statistics of public acute hospitals, including the number of Accident and Emergency (A&E) first attendances, the number of inpatient admissions to medical wards via A&E departments and medical inpatient bed occupancy rate, on its website and the "HA Touch" mobile application for public reference.  The statistics can reflect the overall utilisation of A&E departments and medical inpatient services in acute hospitals.

     To enhance information transparency, the HA also publishes information on general out-patient clinics, A&E waiting time and weekly average numbers of time-limited beds and temporary beds in public hospitals on its website and the "HA Touch" mobile application.



Published on: 2018-02-28

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