New Mexico hospitals activate crisis standards of care amid COVID-19 surge

Presbyterian Healthcare Services and University of New Mexico Health activated crisis standards of care Nov. 11 for their Albuquerque metro hospitals, which are facing challenges managing patient needs amid a COVID-19 surge.

New Mexico in October announced the addition of a public health order permitting hospitals to engage crisis standards of care. State officials said hospitals could decide when to engage crisis standards of care based on available staffing and other resources. 

In a news release, Presbyterian Healthcare Services and University of New Mexico Health said they have taken steps to expand clinical spaces and increase staffing to care for patients, and that activating crisis standards of care "provides another lever for hospitals to meet patient needs."

Crisis standards of care are effective at Presbyterian's Albuquerque metro hospitals — Presbyterian Hospital, Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital and Presbyterian Rust Medical Center. They are also effective at UNM Health's Albuquerque metro hospitals — UNM Hospital and UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center.

"While both systems will not be deallocating or rationing care at this time, activating CSC will allow us to care for our patients as safely and effectively as possible in this environment of unrelenting patient volumes," the organizations said in a news release.

The rate of new daily COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Mexico has climbed 19 percent over the last two weeks, the highest increase among states, according to data tracked by The New York Times.

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