Overview & Observations
DCHA routinely reports occupancy rates for several specialized patient care unit types (pages 15–23 of the report). Occupancy rates are expressed as the monthly average census as a percentage of designated beds. These rates only show occupancy volume as “within hospital.” In the graphs below, we illustrate the “within-hospital” and the “between hospital” occupancy volume. For example, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital has the highest Med-Surg Occupancy rate, yet averages 270 (54%) fewer Med-Surg patients than MedStar Washington Hospital Center (Fig 1). Similarly, Howard University Hospital has a slightly lower ICU occupancy rate than does The George Washington University Hospital (GWUH); yet averages 24 (53%) fewer ICU patients than GWUH (Fig 2). Differences in volume by unit are important to understand as you look at the overall occupancy of a hospital to explore questions such as, why some patients may experience longer wait times before being moved to an inpatient unit.