Metro hospitals are collaborating and prepping to invoke crisis standards of care if our regions, six and eight, were to hit tier four of the state’s hospital surge plan.
"According to the state health departments surge plan this is a part of their plan,” said Dr. Julie Watson the chief medical officer with Integris Health.
Watson said if crisis standards of care were implemented it would be a regional decision.
"That we are here, that we have exhausted all resources. We literally have no hallway we can put a patient in, no conference center we have taken down and made care centers,” said Watson.
If invoked tough decisions would be made on who would get a higher level of care.
"There’s scores that tell you how severely ill a patient is. Then from an ethical standard it's to try and save as many lives as possible or life years,” said Dr. Watson. “So, part of the prioritization process takes into account a patient who is 95 vs someone who is 5. A patient with a terminal illness with a prognosis of a year to live vs a healthy 21-year-old, so to speak."
But Watson is urging people to practice safety precautions so we can avoid getting to that point.
"Know there is collaboration of the health systems that we want to avoid crisis standards of care,” said Dr. Watson. “That we are in lockstep with one another if god forbid, we had to go there but we need peoples help to not cross that bridge."
To get to tier four there must be 40% of patients in the hospital with COVID-19. Right now, we are teetering on that at just over 38%.