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Choice of a Short-term Prediction Model for Patient Discharge Before Noon

A Walk-Through of ARIMA Model

Berrios-Montero, Rolando A., PhD

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000262

Hospital leaders encourage morning discharge of patients to boost patient flow. This work presents a detailed process of a building model for forecasting patient discharge before noon applying the Box-Jenkins methodology using weekly historic data. Accurately forecasting is of crucial importance to plan early discharge activities, influenced by the fluctuations in daily discharges process. The objective is to find an appropriate autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model for forecasting the rate of patients out by noon based on the lowest error in a statistical forecast by applying the mean absolute percentage error. The results obtained demonstrate that a nonseasonal ARIMA model classified as ARIMA(2,1,1) offers a good fit to actual discharge-before-noon data and proposes hospital leaders short-term prediction that could facilitate decision-making process, which is important in an uncertain health care system environment.

Author Affiliation: Health System Strengthening, Chemonics International, Inc, Arlington, Virginia.

The author has no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Rolando A. Berrios-Montero, PhD, Health System Strengthening, Chemonics International, Inc, 251 18th St South, Arlington, VA 22202 (

R.A.B.-M. is a performance and process improvement director for USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program, which involves redesigning many of process systems and implementing performance measures to ensure patients have access to the lifesaving medications they need.

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