The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has activated Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) in accordance with IDAPA 16.02.09 – Crisis Standards of Care For Healthcare Entities. CSC is activated statewide because the massive increase of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization in all areas of the state has exhausted existing resources. CSC was activated on Sept. 6 in North Idaho. This activation, declared today, expands the declaration to the rest of the state.
This action was taken after St. Luke’s Health System requested that CSC be activated. DHW Director Dave Jeppesen convened the CSC Activation Advisory Committee virtually on Sept. 15. The committee recommended that CSC be activated statewide.
“Our hospitals and healthcare systems need our help. The best way to end crisis standards of care is for more people to get vaccinated. It dramatically reduces your chances of having to go to the hospital if you do get sick from COVID-19. In addition, please wear a mask indoors in public and outdoors when it’s crowded to help slow the spread” said DHW Director Jeppesen. “The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident.”
Although DHW has activated CSC, hospitals will implement as needed and according to their own CSC policies. However, not all hospitals will move to that standard of care. If they are managing under their current circumstances, they can continue to do so.
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 healthcare resources to provide the usual standard of care to people who need it. The goal of crisis standards of care is to extend care to as many patients as possible and save as many lives as possible.