Throughout the COVID-19 response, ADHS has partnered with hospitals to ensure Arizona’s healthcare preparedness to address a surge in COVID-19 cases. Early in the outbreak, Governor Ducey issued executive orders to support healthcare surge capacity, including issuance of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected order, which provided hospitals time to implement preparedness plans, enhance surge capacity, and acquire additional personal protective equipment. 

Through the hard work of the hospitals, an additional 600 ICU and 2,600 inpatient surge beds were added during this time. In addition, hospitals report multiple data points to public health so we can monitor the health of our healthcare system. Many of these data points are posted on our dashboard. We’ve worked on continuously improving our dashboard to provide the most current and real-time information. Our dashboard has earned an A+ from the COVID Tracking Project

Our coordination with hospital partners continues as we plan for an increase of COVID-19 cases. 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. 

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. Initially, these surge beds were calculated into the total number and counted as full ⁠—  these surge beds should not be included in the bed availability, because they are not currently in use. 

Here’s how the updated method for calculating bed availability works:

Scenario: The hospitals report a total capacity of 1567 ICU beds with 369 beds available, and 641 surge beds that could be added on demand:

  • Previous Dashboard Calculation Method:  

Add the total 1567 beds  + 641 surge beds =  2208 total ICU beds.

Display 17% available ICU beds (369 available beds/2208 (total + surge) beds) 

  • New Calculation Method:

Divide the available 369 beds by the total 1567 beds = 23.5%.

Display 23.5% available ICU beds (369 available beds/1567 total ICU beds). 

This change has been reflected on the dashboard today. Later this week, we will be adding additional graphs showing the current capacity plus the number of beds added through the executive order, which will show the full capacity of our healthcare system if a surge plan is activated. 

We continue to work with hospitals and stakeholders to continuously improve our data dashboard. For more detailed information, view the dashboard.