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How to calculate hospital bed days of care

Updated March 23, 2017

Calculating hospital bed days of care--an important quality indicator that measures the use of a particular hospital inpatient unit or health care institution--is a moderately easy process. Using two pieces of data and a simple formula, you can easily calculate hospital bed days of care.

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  1. Determine total inpatient days of care by adding together the daily patient census for 365 days.

  2. Determine total bed days available by multiplying the total number of beds available in the hospital or inpatient unit by 365.

  3. Divide total inpatient days of care by the total bed days available.

  4. Multiply the result by 100 in order to express this figure as a percentage.

  5. Tip

    Be sure to account for any gains or losses in beds for the hospital or a particular unit. For example, if the obstetrics unit gained 10 beds halfway through the year, you will need to calculate total bed days by adding together the bed days available both before and after the expansion.

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About the Author

Matt Browning has been writing about health, science, food and travel since 1990. His career has spanned advocacy, medical communications and public relations and his stories have won awards from the Virginia Press Association. Browning earned a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from the University of Virginia.

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