How Hospital Capacity and Inventory Needs Will Change Throughout Phases of COVID-19

hospital capacity and inventory covid phases

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, hospital leaders will notice the needs of their facilities change with it. No matter the stage of the pandemic, providers will have to remain agile when it comes to reconfiguring their site capacity and auditing supplies of their critical inventory.

The Need for Site Rounding Throughout Phases of COVID-19

According to the CDC, there are six phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, four that are especially important for hospitals and health systems: Initiation, Acceleration, Deceleration, and Preparation.

The pacing, height, and deceleration of the pandemic curve will vary depending on the region, and even on an individual hospital’s location.

As hospitals and health systems experience each phase, the needs of their facilities will change, requiring hospitals to have different strategies for rounding in place throughout their facilities.

covid phases of pandemic

Source: CDC

Monitoring Capacity and Inventory is Critical to Preparedness

Each phase requires different attention to capacity and supplies. For example, during the Initiation and Acceleration phases, hospitals must stretch to accommodate an influx of COVID-19 positive cases by reconfiguring their existing rooms for staging and ICUs. Clinics may be moved to other hospitals within a system, as administrative staff rush to implement, keep track of, and communicate these changes. Once at peak, hospitals may become susceptible to shortages, and site rounding becomes key in maintaining critical supply flow.

Auditing these areas for safety and preparedness ensures that staff have what they need to keep themselves and patients safe.

As the rate of infection begins to decrease, hospitals enter the Deceleration phase where it is still important to understand levels of capacity and supply. Throughout this phase, although the need for treating COVID-positive patients has lessened, hospital leaders will need to think about PPE. With elective procedures reopening, the need to accommodate new patients and have sufficient resources in place becomes another top priority. Hospitals might also start returning larger equipment like ventilators back to federal stockpiles.

Lastly, hospitals could also be concerned about second waves of COVID-19 in their area, or the very real possibility that COVID-19 and influenza infections collide in the fall. In case the pandemic curve accelerates again, it’s essential to know how much PPE and supplies are on hand and where to quickly obtain them during the Preparation phase.

What Phase is Your Hospital In?

No matter the stage of the pandemic your hospital is facing, performing Site Rounding has become an essential way to handle resource flow and mitigate shortages. Some of our hospital partners are using the Site programs within our COVID-19 Crisis Response Solutions to accurately record PPE availability, track capacity changes, and use real-time reporting to analyze burn rates.

COVID-19 has changed healthcare forever, and with the “new normal” settling in, preparedness through Site Rounding has become a strategic and necessary part of this new reality.


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