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HAvBED 2: Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

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III. Background

Denver Health, under a previous Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) task order, developed a demonstration "realtime" national bed availability system (Hospital Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters [HAvBED]), which was completed in August 2005. The need for such a system was clearly demonstrated in several recent disasters. With Hurricane Katrina, it was necessary to evacuate patients from compromised hospitals to other remote institutions. This activity could have been facilitated and expedited through a national bed availability system.

The initial HAvBED demonstration system was developed under the guidance of an Advisory Group from the private, public, and governmental sectors who had interest, experience and expertise in the area of hospital bed availability. This demonstration system is described in detail in the National Available Beds for Emergencies and Disasters Final Report, which is available at This report included recommendations for definitions of bed categories and bed availability as well as conceptual and technical recommendations. These elements were incorporated into the sustainable production system which is the result of this current task order.

The creation of this sustainable production system built upon the standardized bed-related definitions and the common EXtensible Markup Language (XML) communication protocol, also created as part of the HAvBED demonstration project. The new system is operational now at

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