Hospital Capacity Errors at KDHE

Joy Eakins and Chris Wyant Cornerstone Data share their data analytics with a client.

As we updated our hospital capacity data on October 29, we noted several discrepancies in the data on KDHE’s portal. The email we sent to KDHE and Dr. Norman included the following notes.

Kansas City ICU Beds as Reported on KDHE COVID Map on 10/30/2020

On the Hospital Capacity page for the Kansas City region – ICU Total Beds have been reported in the range of 350 to 400 throughout reporting. This would match other sources, such as Johns Hopkins. However, as shown in the image above, the range here indicates that Kansas City never had more than about 275 ICU Beds.

North West ICU Beds as Reported on KDHE COVID Map on 10/30/2020

In the same report, North West region’s daily ICU beds were consistently shown as negative since July. The data did not match the previous records on their site where normally they show about 20 ICU Beds.

South Central ICU Beds as Reported on KDHE COVID Map on 10/30/2020

Finally, we noted in the South Central ICU Bed report, KDHE has previously reported 375 to 400 ICU Beds in the region – but here showed there were never more than 326.

The impact of all the changes on 10/30/2020 indicated that in total Kansas now only had 800 ICU beds instead of the 1000 or so normally reported.

When we initially addressed this with KDHE through their Facebook tool, we were told,

The data is from TeleTracking and HHS Protect. Updates were made to their survey, including a question change to “how many ICU beds are available with staffing” rather than how many ICU beds are available. We are updating the notations on the page to reflect their change in reporting.

When we pressed to understand why KDHE was not reporting 300 fewer ICU beds for the entire pandemic, we were told

We did just push an update out that may remedy some of your concerns.”

We checked – and once the new update was made, the data corrected and the missing beds were rediscovered. We would also note, however, that no notes or comments were left for users to explain that a change had been made.

UPDATE 10/30/2020:

On a subsequent post on our Facebook page found here (click to follow) Dr. Norman was asked to comment on the issue and left the following feedback.

When we responded with the details, Dr. Norman did not respond to our comments.