OKC Hospitals Move Into State's COVID-19 Surge Plan's 2nd Tier

Friday, October 23rd 2020, 5:15 pm
By: Hunter McKee

Oklahoma City moved into Tier 2 of its surge plan, which means changes will be coming to local hospitals. 

The state health department said Oklahoma City is the only region in the state in Tier 2, and these changes include creating more bed capacity and additional staffing.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health's Surge Plan Advisor Matt Stacy, Oklahoma City moved into its Tier 2 plan on Thursday. Part of the plan is to transfer less serious patients to rehab and special focus facilities to create more available beds in higher risk areas of the hospital.

“They look at where patients are at based on which hospitals have more patients than others and if a new patient comes in to possibly transport that patient to another hospital,” Stacy said.

According to health officials, the Oklahoma City region has 270 COVID-19 confirmed positive cases as of Thursday. That could mean cutting some services.

“They will selectively begin reducing certain procedures that are somewhat considered elective or scheduled non-emergent,” said Stacy.

Extra staffing could also be brought in to help open up more rooms.

”That might include many of our administrative nurses or others who don't routinely do in-patient hospital care,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Health's Chief COVID Officer.

Officials said they are implementing a dashboard that will provide daily information about where each region is within the state's updated hospital surge plan.

“They're going to be able to evaluate that data in real time and able to make those patient care decisions amongst themselves,” said Stacy.

The state health department also said hospitals do have additional bed space and the new surge plan helps evenly distribute patients as needed.