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Montana hospitals say capacity is holding during pandemic

Montana hospitals doing well in capacity
Posted at 7:43 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 21:43:30-04

Montana hasn't had as many positive cases here as in other parts of the country, and aren't seeing any issues with hospital capacity.

“Hospitals in Montana are all safe, open and ready. So, we’re in a much better position than we were in March and April,” explained Rich Rasmussen, the president and CEO of the Montana Hospital Association.

And that’s statewide in all units.

“None of the hospitals in Montana are at capacity. In fact, looking earlier today at the total bed capacity within our state, whether it’s ICU beds, ER beds or medical surge beds, none of the facilities in our state are at capacity,” he said.

But there’s still a backup plan.

‘We have systems in place that are designed to surge to allows us move patients from one location to another so that those patients who need the highest level of care would have access to that care and we would move patients through the entire continuum of care delivery in our state to make room for them,” Rasmussen explained.

Bozeman Health officials say they made sure they were prepared ahead of time.

“It’s also about the appropriate equipment. We reacted very quickly when the pandemic began, and placed orders for additional, critical equipment that we knew we would need and have already started seeing that coming in,” explained Dr. Kathryn Bertany, the president of Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.

Which has prepared Bozeman Health not only for COVID-19, but also for other illnesses.

“So, as we move into the winter months, and we potentially have the combined demands of the flu season and everything else that comes with the winter and covid, we feel confident we’re going to be able to meet the needs of our community,” Bertany said.

And the number of positive cases is not the same number as people currently in the hospital. Many cases are quarantined at their homes.