Page 1548 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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(2) Is the definition of “occupancy rate” in the AIHW document referred to in part (1) the same as the “bed occupancy rate” as reported in Canberra Hospital quarterly and annual reports; if not, what is the difference.

(3) Further to the written answer to question on notice 358 (25 November 2014) which provides a table of the “Canberra Hospital daily occupancy rate”, what is the relationship between “Canberra Hospital daily occupancy rate” and (a) “available beds” as set out by AIHW, and (b) a “bed occupancy rate” as reported in Canberra Hospital quarterly and annual reports.

(4) Referring to the various bed categories (Medical short stay bed, day bed spaces, Medihotel beds, overcapacity bed spaces, discharge lounge places) referred to in the email of 11 September 2014 from Mark Dykgraaf headed “Current ED issues”, which of those bed categories are included in the definition of “available beds” and therefore used to calculate “bed occupancy rate.”

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The AIHW defines available beds as being “a suitably located and equipped bed, chair, trolley or cot where the necessary financial and human resources are provided for admitted patient care.” Within the same document, the AIHW identifies that across jurisdictions and hospitals, there are wide variations in terminology and definitions of available beds, and therefore occupancy calculations.

ACT Health currently refers to available beds as being all overnight beds within the actual hospital campus, excluding the Independent Living Unit. This figure differs from the AIHW reference to “available beds” as ACT Health has determined that same day beds within an area, such as the Gastroenterology Unit for example, are not available to admit general inpatients, despite having a bed. This is therefore deemed as not being available by ACT Health standards.

(2) The definition of occupancy rate referred to in AIHW 373634 is provided in reference to terms associated with the core definition of available beds. The AIHW reference describes occupancy rates as “calculated by dividing total bed days in a period by the product of the available beds and the days in the period”.

ACT Health uses this definition. ACT Health has recently begun using real-time patient administration system data to account for all minutes of care that occur within the defined period of time, rather than only calculating occupancy by reference to patients who had separated from the hospital in that reporting period. The new ACT Health methodology is more relevant to managing operational services.

(3) (a) The calculation for the daily bed occupancy rate for Canberra Hospital uses the same methodology as explained in the response to Question 2. Bed occupancy rates are calculated consistently, with only the number of days in the reporting period needing adjustment.

(b) There is currently no quarterly or annual report specifically for Canberra Hospital. ACT Health compiles an ACT Health Quarterly Performance Report which combines the results of the two public hospitals in the ACT. In addition, ACT Health compiles an ACT Health Annual Report which does not solely focus on Canberra Hospital outputs. The current calculation for bed occupancy is consistent in the daily occupancy rate provided for Question On Notice 358, in the ACT Health Quarterly Performance Report in 2014-15, and will be consistent with the 2014-15 Annual Report.

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