The Agency for Health Care Administration on Thursday launched an online dashboard that shows how many hospital beds are available in Florida to handle the coronavirus crisis, including intensive care unit beds.
The dashboard consists of real-time data reported by all hospitals in the state, according to ACHA, which regulates those facilities.
So far, Tampa Bay area hospital systems haven’t been strained by caring for the growing population of COVID-19 patients, the data shows. Available hospital bed capacity among regional health care facilities appears stable at this time, with most reporting that roughly 40 percent of their beds are available.
Local hospital capacity rises and falls with the seasons, said Jay Wolfson, a professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health and an expert on health care policy. Occupancy levels are typically high this time of year because of the tourist season, he said, and can approach 100 percent in some areas.
The vast majority of coronavirus cases do not require patients to be admitted to a hospital. According to another state database that tracks the virus, Florida had more than 8,000 cases on Thursday, about 13 percent of which had required hospitalization. Wolfson added that Florida hospitals have curtailed many elective procedures in an effort to generate more capacity for coronavirus-related patients.
Hillsborough County has 14 hospitals with a total of 4,153 hospital beds. As of midday Thursday, the county had 43 percent of its beds available, or a total of 1,773. Pinellas County has 3,013 hospital beds among its nine hospitals. More than 1,200 beds, or about 41 percent of the total, were available as of Thursday.
Pasco County has 42 percent of its 1,582 beds open. And Hernando County, with 710 total beds, had 47 percent of them available.
The state’s hospital bed tracker also examined the number of ICU beds available for the sickest patients. Any COVID-19 patient who requires a ventilator would likely be treated in an ICU bed.
Hillsborough County has 464 ICU beds among its hospitals for adult patients. As of Thursday, 193 of them were available.
Hernando County has 63 ICU beds, with 28 currently available. Pasco has 163 ICU beds, with 75 available. And Pinellas has 301 ICU beds, with 111 open and ready for patients.
St. Joseph’s Hospital is among the busiest in the region with 422 of its 589 total hospital beds occupied as of Thursday. Tampa General Hospital, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center, had 473 hospital beds still available.
In Pasco County, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital had just 44 beds available as of Thursday. AdventHealth North Pinellas hospital in Tarpon Springs had 20 beds available.
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Nearly all hospitals had ICU beds available as of Thursday.
The state’s data included some specialized health care facilities, like rehabilitation and behavioral health hospitals. Moffitt Cancer Center was also included. Veterans Affairs hospitals, including Bay Pines and James A. Haley are not tracked in the ACHA data.
“While the COVID-19 public health crisis is unprecedented, Florida has a strong foundation of emergency preparedness built on government collaboration at all levels — state level emergency infrastructure to support local responses, state and county public health expertise and resources, and a high-quality, dedicated health system,” said AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew, in a statement.
“Hospitals have been committed to supporting Florida’s Emergency Status System with their real-time updates of bed availability," the statement said.
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