'The situation is dire': Idaho expands crisis standards of care statewide

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare activated crisis standards of care Sept. 16 for all hospitals and health systems across the state. 

The crisis standards of care have been activated "because the massive increase of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization in all areas of the state has exhausted existing resources," according to a news release from the state health department. 

This action was taken after Boise-based St. Luke's Health System requested it be activated Sept. 15.  

"Our hospitals and healthcare systems need our help. The best way to end crisis standards of care is for more people to get vaccinated," said Dave Jeppesen, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. "The situation is dire — we don't have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident."

Crisis standards of care are guidelines that help healthcare providers decide how to deliver the best care possible under extraordinary circumstances such as an overwhelming disaster or public health emergency. Hospitals will implement crisis standards of care as needed and according to their own policies. Crisis standards will remain in effect until there are sufficient resources to provide the usual standard of care to all patients. 

The crisis standards of care were activated Sept. 6 in North Idaho after Kootenai Health in Coeur d'Alene requested they be implemented. 

In the past week, some hospitals in Washington are reaching capacity after reporting an influx of COVID-19 patients from neighboring Idaho. Some Idaho physicians have said they even called 30 or more hospitals across multiple states to find a bed for a single patient, reports NBC News. 


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