Crisis standards of care activated in South Central Public Health District

No area hospitals are currently implementing the standards
No area hospitals are currently implementing the standards
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:15 AM MST
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Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare activated Crisis Standards of Care in three Idaho health districts Monday. The South Central Public Health District (SCPHD), which includes the KMVT viewing area, is one of those districts.

Crisis Standards of Care are implemented when resources in health systems aren’t able to reach demand. However, individual health care operations decide if they want to abide by those standards.

As of Monday afternoon, no area hospitals were operating under crisis standards, according to the SCPHD.

The St. Luke’s Health System is stressed and operating at contingency standards of care, but they aren’t ready to move to the crisis just yet, according to a statement.

Cassia Regional Hospital is actually operating under normal conditions.

“We’ve been lucky enough to be able to keep our surgical department still operating and that we’ve had capacity for admissions for our emergency department,” said Bowen Harris, chief nurse administrator for Cassia Regional Hospital

Blaine County felt the early part of the omicron surge. Preliminary signs are pointing to plateauing numbers there, however, the SCPHD feels the worst is yet to come for the Magic Valley.

“With a vaccination rate that’s not quite as high, we’re going to see a continued increased in pressure on our local hospitals,” said Brianna Bodily, with the SCPHD.

Cassia Regional is anticipating area COVID-19 numbers to increase. “We’re hoping that our efforts as far as vaccination efforts are going to help to stem the tide a little bit there,” said Harris.

But with this crisis standards conversations, conditions are a little different than last fall.

“What we’re seeing is actually less impact simply from COVID-19 and more impact from all of the other things happening in our community right now,” said Bodily.

Staffing issues, other sickness, blood shortages are all contributing, but if a hospital has to start rationing care, there is at least a blueprint.

“It’s no longer how are we going to handle this, it’s more are we going to use these processes, and the hope is ‘no’ we won’t have to use these processes,” said Harris.

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