Arizona Department of Health Services changes how it counts COVID-19 ICU beds in use

The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) announced it's changing the way how ICU bed usage is being reported during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AZDHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said on Saturday that ICU beds in the state were seemingly being used at a higher rate, but that was due to reports calculating surge bed availability with current hospital stays.

The surge beds being calculated into the number were not in use, creating misleading information indicating ICU bed patients were increasing.

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"We’ve recently reached out to several facilities to validate the data they are reporting to us. As a result of this work, we have improved the method for determining inpatient and ICU bed availability to more accurately reflect available resources," Christ said.

When the surge beds were added to the calculation of beds in use, it showed there were 2,208 total ICU beds in use, or 17% of ICU beds available.

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Now, with the new calculations without surge beds, it shows 1,567 in use, or 23% of ICU beds available.

Christ further explains, "This updated method, now posted in the Hospital Bed Usage and Availability section of our dashboard, shows the current bed availability without calculating in the additional (surge) beds hospitals added under Executive Order 2020-10."

Christ says information will continuously be checked for accuracy and numbers can be found here.