HomeData QualityWhich Reports Should I Run and How Often?Bed and Unit Utilization by Provider

3.6. Bed and Unit Utilization by Provider

**This guidance applies to Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, Rapid Rehousing, and Permanent Supportive Housing providers only.**

HOW TO RUN THE "Bed and Unit Utilization by Provider" REPORT:

1. Log into ServicePoint.

2. Click "Connect to ART" at the top right of your screen.

3. Navigate the ART folders: click the black triangle next to "Public", then "Balance of State HMIS", then "Data Quality and Performance", then "Monthly". For Youngstown, go to Public > Performance.

4. Click the magnifying glass next to the "Bed and Unit Utilization by Provider".

5. Click View Report. The image below shows the prompts that appear.
bed utilization prompts

6. The Month PLUS 1 prompts: Each of these are preset to the last Wednesday of the month PLUS one day. They can be changed but in general there is no need.

7. The Provider prompt: Users can select one or more providers at a time. The report will show bed and unit utilization separately for each provider selected.

8. The EDA Provider prompt: This should be left as "-Default Provider-" when running this report.

9. Once all the prompts have been answered, click "Run Query".

Interpreting the Bed and Unit Utilization Report

To understand why the Bed and Unit Utilization Report is important, it is important to know about the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR), which is a report that HUD submits to Congress every year. All data that we upload to the AHAR comes from your HMIS data. HUD expects the data to fall within boundaries they consider reasonable. Any data that does not fit within their specifications causes an error and requires either a change to the data or an explanation. An area that typically causes great difficulties is HUD's expectation of Bed Utilization rates fall between 65% and 105%. Your Bed Utilization Rate gives an idea of how full your program is on a given night.

Bed Utilization:

If the Bed Utilization percentage is too high, either there are too many clients in the program on the night of the measurement or the number of beds reported on the HIC is low. The most likely scenario is that there were clients that were enrolled in the program that night that were not actually there because they were just never exited.

If the Bed Utilization percentage is too low, there were either too few clients in the program the night of the measurement or the number of beds reported on the HIC is too high. If you are unsure of which is the case, please contact the HMIS Department at COHHIO for help.

Unit Utilization:

Since there is currently no window or threshold for unit utilization, the report does not highlight anything with a red font; it is purely informational at this time.


Looking at the image above, the data blocks are split into Bed Utilization on the left and Unit Utilization on the right. On the 7/27/2016 row, you can see the Bed Utilization data seems to be indicating that the shelter was underutilized on that night, with only 63% of its beds in use. That is below the threshold, and you'll see it's in a red font because of that. But if you look across at the Unit Utilization for that same day, you can see that while they only filled 10 of their 16 beds, they were actually filling 7 of their 8 units!

Unit utilization definitely has its advantages, but it is not perfect either. If you look at the 2/24/2016 row, you can see that the Bed Utilization looks pretty reasonable at 75%, however their Unit Utilization on that night is extremely high, maybe because the shelter staff roommated two individuals into each unit. It could also be that a household was entered incorrectly as two singles.

At this point, you may wonder how you are supposed to find the exact Client IDs and Households that make up the "# Beds Used" or "# Units Used" of the percentages so that you can find which clients may need to be corrected. For this, you will use the Detail tabs that follow the main Bed Utilization page.

Bed and Unit Utilization Detail:

The Detail tabs are labeled one tab for each month of the calendar year.


The image above shows the Detail tab for the last Wednesday in March. The different elements of this report are the title, provider, recap, and detail data.

Use this detail data to figure out who (according to HMIS) was in your program for that night and compare it to your paper files or other documentation you might have. Make corrections as necessary.

If the client data is correct, but your bed or unit count is wrong, please run your HIC Verification Report and follow the instructions on the cover sheet to get it to the CoC so they can approve it and we can make the corrections.

If both your client data and bed data are correct, but your utilization is still outside the acceptable zone, please work with your region to discuss the reasons and address them. Figuring out why may involve asking questions at meetings or simply communicating with management what the data is showing and discussing possible reasons. Examples are:

The Bed and Unit Utilization Report should be run and examined for each of your agencies monthly. Grant managers will use this report as a way of understanding to what extent your beds are being used to fill needs in the community.

Comments, questions, and feedback are welcome. Send to hmis@cohhio.org.

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