The Government has asked the HSE for "better data" on the number of COVID-19 cases in hospitals.
Ministers want to differentiate between those sick with the virus, and those who are in hospital for other reasons and don't require treatment for COVID itself.
Some ministers estimate at least 10% of those in hospitals with the virus are not in hospital because of it.
The Government says it then wants to use the information to make more “informed” decisions on re-opening.
Micheál Martin says they want to be "very clear" about distinguishing between the different types of COVID-19 patients.
However, he said it wouldn't overall change the situation around case numbers - suggesting "if you have so many COVID cases, you have so many COVID cases".
In a statement, a Government spokesperson said: “The Government is seeking better data on hospitalisations in order to better inform decision making.
"This includes details on the total number of positive cases in hospital, the number who contracted COVID while in hospital, and those being treated for COVID specifically.
“Details are also being sought on how many travel-related cases had been fully vaccinated.
“The matter will be discussed further with NPHET.”
Anthony Staines, Professor of Health Systems at DCU, says changing the data you record can actually prove counterproductive.
He observed: “For guiding policy, what you’re looking at is changes over time - so if you do something that changes what you’re measuring, it becomes harder to use that to guide policy.
“We’ve seen that in the past, with Governments redefining unemployment - in ways it meant it was very hard to compare unemployment this year with unemployment last year.”
The latest figures from the HSE show there were 141 patients with COVID-19 in Irish hospitals this morning, including 25 in ICU.
That number compares to 101 this day last week - although Monday numbers are often slightly higher than other days as the number of discharges tends to drop over the weekend.
However, hospitalisations have increased significantly in recent weeks amid the current wave of infections - a wave largely attributed to the more transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19.