NAMPA, IDAHO — The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare (IDHW) announced Thursday it has activated "crisis standards of care" statewide. IDHW says it is activated statewide because of the "massive increase" of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization in all areas of Idaho has exhausted existing resources.
St. Luke's Health System requested that crisis standards of care be activated and DHW director Dave Jeppesen convened the CSC Activation Advisory Committee virtually on September 15. The committee recommended that it be activated statewide, according to a news release.
Although it is activated statewide, hospitals will implement as needed and according to their own policies. Not all hospitals will move to that standard of care; if they are managing under their current circumstances, they can continue to do so according to IDHW.
IDHW says the process to initiate crisis standards of care started when resources were limited to the point of affecting medical care. The committee reviewed all the measures that were taken to provide care for the increased number of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization. The committee determined the ability of all Idaho hospitals and healthcare systems to deliver the usual standard of care has been "severely affected by the extraordinary influx of patients, and all contingency measures have been exhausted."
Crisis Standards of Care are guidelines that help healthcare providers and systems decide how to deliver the best care possible. Crisis standards of care are guidelines that help healthcare providers and systems decide how to deliver the best care possible under the extraordinary circumstances of an overwhelming disaster or public health emergency.
The guidelines may be used when there are not enough resources to provide the usual standard of care to those who need it. The goal is to extend care to as many patients as possible and save as many lives as possible, according to the release.