DILLON — Officials said Wednesday that Barrett Hospital & HealthCare is close to implementing crisis standards of care, which means hospital treatment and resources for patients may be rationed, as COVID-19 continues to surge in Montana.
Crisis Care Standards occur when it is no longer possible to deliver the normal standard of care to all persons in need. This occurs when health care resources are overwhelmed by a disaster or emergency. The goal of crisis standards of care is to extend care to as many patients as possible and save as many lives as possible.
According to a press release, when crisis standards of care are in effect, people who need medical care may get care that is different from what they expect. For example, patients admitted to the hospital may find that hospital beds are not available, or that needed equipment is not available. They may have to wait for a bed to open or be moved to another hospital in or out-of-state that has the resources they need.
“Providers and health care facilities across Montana are currently experiencing limitations in their ability to provide the standard of care that we all wish to provide to our communities and normally expect to provide,” said Dr. Greg Moore, Chief Medical Officer. “This situation may persist for some time and is everchanging day-by-day, which has required Barrett Hospital & HealthCare to consider implementing crisis care standards to ensure the most equitable allocation of limited resources for patient care.”
While the current increase in patient numbers is moving Barrett Hospital & HealthCare closer to having to implement crisis care standards, Barrett Hospital & HealthCare is diligently working to avoid having to do so.
Learn more about crisis standards of care at: https://dphhs.mt.gov/.../MontanaCrisisCareGuidanceFrontMa...
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.