Allegheny County Mental Health Bedboard

DHS Data Exchange Application

Allegheny County Department of Human Services provides hundreds of millions of dollars for mental health services within the county. This allows a lot to occur – services, programs, care, etc. The county was searching for more information on how those dollars were being used and who was being served for mental health (MH) services.

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There are six hospitals within the county that all evaluate clients independently. This makes it difficult, on any given day, to know how many beds are available in the county across these organizations. Although every hospital has beds, there are numerous factors that influence whether those beds are open.

Factors include:

  • Staff availability;
  • The room itself could have an issue;
  • The bed is occupied;
  • And more.

These aspects inhibit the beds being used for MH.

Before this application, the county had no way of knowing how many beds, on a daily basis, were available to treat county mental health patients.


There were two goals the county was looking to attain.

The main goal of this system was to begin data collection that didn’t exist prior. It was crucial to find a way to understand what the service profile looked like at the county level. A daily census of the number of beds within each facility for each program was needed.

Obtaining this would allow the county to comprehend its capacity for treating mental health patients.

The second goal was to foster a way the hospitals could coordinate and work together. This was especially important so that if there was a need in one part of the county that could be met in a different part of the county, they could cooperate in having that need met. Services and beds could then be used efficiently.


Data Warehouse Consultants was able to conceptualize and develop a web application that supported the desired functionality. The app allows hospitals to work together with the county capturing the number of beds available daily. Users input information for tracking.

The site supports quick entry and keeps data from day before. This feature minimizes effort from the hospital. Users do not have to reenter data each day since they can just copy it and make slight changes as needed.

Health team representatives in the county are still working to implement this application with an expected go-live date of late 2024/early 2025.


The solution implemented was a HIPPA-compliant, online application that allows users and providers the ability to input, track and review bed information.

Staff are able to enter information on a daily basis, make sure it’s correct, view a summary of what’s available and find space for those who need services even if it’s at a hospital to which that staff member doesn’t belong.

A history of entries is also provided. Filters provide functionality and the ability to dig deeper. Lastly, there are two charts for each category that provide visual representations of usage and availability over time.

An instructional video of the MH Bedboard application can be viewed here: