ORLANDO, Fla. – With Florida coronavirus cases approaching 10,000 Friday, the Agency for Health Care Administration is tracking available hospital and ICU beds around the state and making those numbers public to help determine what resources will be needed in the weeks to come.
AHCA administers Florida’s Medicaid program, as well as licenses, and regulates more than 44,000 healthcare facilities across the state.
Working with healthcare facilities, the agency created a dashboard that shows hospital bed availability totals, including ICU beds, at both the county and hospital level. The numbers are updated hourly by the AHCA.
Statewide, there are 59,271 hospital beds and only 41% of those are currently available, according to the data released Friday afternoon.
More than 60% of adult and pediatric ICU beds across the state are occupied, according to the hospital data.
While many Florida counties have more than 50% of their beds available, that could quickly change. Florida saw a spike in cases this week during which positive tests increased by more than 850 almost daily.
To put that number in context, as of Friday there are more than 1,200 patients hospitalized throughout the state due to coronavirus. The most recent projections from medical experts suggests Florida may not see the worst, or the peak, of the virus for another month.
According to a model by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Florida won’t see its peak in infection and resource demand until May 3. The model shows Florida has an estimated shortage of 843 ICU beds and 2,029 ventilators.
Not every person with coronavirus will require hospitalization; a majority of patients can isolate at home and experience mild symptoms.
More than 300 people with coronavirus are hospitalized across the Central Florida region, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Florida’s AHCA data does not include information about available ventilators available in the state. News 6 has asked if that information will be made available.
On Friday, AHCA officials sent guidance to hospitals asking them to “strongly” consider converting anesthesia machines to ventilators. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the conversion and the steps that must be followed last week, reports the News Service of Florida.
Ventilators have emerged as crucial medical tools in treating COVID-19 patients. The machines pump air to a person’s lungs through a tube inserted in the windpipe and can be lifesaving for severely ill patients.
FEMA previously asked states to answer data-heavy questions to determine where the most urgent needs exist. Among them: How many usable ventilators, intensive care beds and machines that can be converted into ventilators are available within the state? How many anesthesia machines can be converted into ventilators in the state, and has that happened yet?
AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew said in a news release the data can be a resource to help anticipate hospital needs and monitoring availability amid the pandemic.
“Hospital admissions and discharges are a fluid situation, and the reporting of bed availability and census will help inform emergency management decisions and coordinated local and statewide response in the event of hospital surge scenarios," Mayhew said. "Our strong partnership with Florida hospitals in times of emergency will allow for well-coordinated solutions and exchange of information necessary to take every measure to safeguard all Floridians.”
The map below shows the number of available and occupied beds by county.
View the database below to see how many beds are available by hospital and county.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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