AIM: To understand the impact of COVID-19 on isolation bed capacity requirements, nursing workforce requirements and nurse: patient ratios .
BACKGROUND: COVID-19 created an increased demand for isolation beds and nursing workforce globally .
METHODS: This was a retrospective review of bed capacity, bed occupancy and nursing workforce data from the isolation units of a tertiary hospital in Singapore from 23 January 2020 to 31 May 2020 . R v4.0.1 and Tidyverse 1.3.0 library were used for data cleaning and plotly 184.108.40.206 library for data visualization .
RESULTS: In January to March 2020, isolation bed capacity was low (= <203 beds). A sharp increase in bed capacity was seen from 195 to 487 beds during 25 March to 29 April 2020, after which it plateaued . Bed occupancy remained lower than bed capacity throughout January to May 2020 . After 16 April 2020, we experienced a shortage of 1.1 to 70.2 nurses in isolation wards . Due to low occupancy rates, nurse: patient ratio remained acceptable (minimum nurse: patient ratio = 0.26).
CONCLUSION: COVID-19 caused drastic changes in isolation bed capacity and nursing workforce requirements .
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Building a model to predict nursing workforce requirements during pandemic surges may be helpful for planning and adequate staffing.