Note: This FAQ relates to HMIS, HDX


Do bed utilization rates below 65 percent or over 105 percent always indicate poor data?

Date Published: November 2017

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No, there can be legitimate reasons why a bed utilization rate may be below 65 percent or above 105 percent. However, low/high rates should be investigated because they can point to data quality problems.

Bed utilization rates below 65 percent are usually attributed to two issues:

  • The project did not enter all their clients into the HMIS and thus the project appears to be under-utilized, and should be fixed; or
  • The project was genuinely under-utilized. Add a note to clarify any reasons why a project was under-utilized (weather, small families in large units, etc.)

Bed utilization rates above 105 are often explained by:

  • The project did not capture exit dates for all their clients, and this should be fixed;
  • The project offered overflow beds--e.g., cots or mattresses--sporadically throughout the year to accommodate high-demand nights, which results in a larger count of persons, but did not count those beds in Q2. While overflow beds are not included in the year-round equivalent bed counts in Q1, they are in Q2 in order to better understand the points in time and isolate if a real data quality issue might exist;
  • The project served more people than the facility could accommodate, even with overflow beds, and had genuinely more people than beds available on the night in question. Add a note to clarify any reasons for high bed utilization rates;
  • The project underestimated the number of beds that were available on a night and reported fewer beds than were available. The CoC should revise the bed count in the AHAR.

View the most recent PDF of all the AHAR FAQs.

Tags: Data - General HDX AHAR - Understanding Utilization Rates in the AHAR HMIS HDX

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