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March 27, 1937


Author Affiliations

Hospital Consultant NEW YORK

JAMA. 1937;108(13):1029-1033. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780130013005

It has long been obvious to those who take time to view the hospital field in perspective that there are too many hospital beds for acute cases. It is rather a startling fact when one stops to think of it that on the average day the general hospitals of the country are carrying fifty or more empty beds for every hundred occupied. This has not been generally realized in medical and hospital circles; its significance in terms of money has not been understood.

This study is an attempt to discover what bed capacity is actually needed to accommodate the daily toll of acutely sick and injured, and to determine "how much is enough" for reserve.

A report published by the American Hospital Association 1 dealing with overhospitalization advanced the theory that three beds for every two patients was too many and that it should be possible for the general hospital,

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