Hospital Short Term Planning Through Patient Census Forecast

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Chiu, Wenhao
Hospitals -- Accounting; Hospitals -- Business management -- Mathematical models
thesis / dissertation description
An adequate health care resource allocation in a hospital is directly dependent upon the ability to estimate the hospital's patient census accurately. Efforts to estimate hospital's patient census are classified into two general methods: estimating from historical data, and demographic analysis. This paper takes the position that the estimate from the historical data is more economic and convenient for understanding than the estimate from the demographic analysis. Seven models that predict hospital's patient census by using the hospital's historical data are evaluated to fit the characteristics of each pattern shown in historical information. Where a microcomputer is available, this forecasting system provides detailed prediction of patient census with the comparable percentage of forecasting error among each model. Data from a ten-unit hospital in Florida is analyzed and provides a predicted patient census for the hospital's short-term plan. Results of this patient census estimating system and its advantage over the other forecasting method are discussed.