The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has activated Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) for the entire State of Idaho. You can learn more about Idaho’s CSC by clicking here.
In short, Crisis Standards of Care are guidelines that help health care providers decide how to deliver the best care possible under extraordinary circumstances when it is no longer possible to provide all patients the level of care they would receive under normal circumstances.
Crisis Standards of Care follow a continuum. This word, continuum, is important because it means, parts or components of Crisis Standards may be implemented without rolling out the entire plan. CSC activation from the state level means that hospitals have the flexibility to begin providing care on that continuum, but where a facility is at on that continuum is dependent upon the facility and the circumstances they are facing.
For example, initially, CSC can mean patients are receiving care in a place they would not be receiving care otherwise, such as a hospital room that was not initially built for their specific need, or a classroom that has been converted to a patient care area. Further down the continuum may mean that hospital staff members, such as nurses, are providing care to more patients than they would normally care for and monitoring vital signs less frequently than normal. Only in extreme instances will hospital care teams need to make decisions about who will or will not receive needed resources.
What does this mean for Bingham Healthcare?
Bingham Healthcare is committed to providing high quality healthcare with compassion and love. At this time, we will not be making changes to our hospital operations. We are monitoring trends and the demands on our resources and will update the community and our patients if this changes.
Here are some answers to questions you may be asking about Bingham Memorial Hospital and Grove Creek Medical Center regarding CSC:
We have not cancelled elective surgeries and procedures. Our elective surgeries and procedures will continue as scheduled. If this changes, doctors and staff will be the first to be notified and each patient who is impacted would receive a personal phone call.
Neither BMH nor GCMC is “rationing care.” BMH is, however, triaging COVID-19 patients in their vehicles when they present to the emergency department. Some patients may be given their vitals and told they are stable and should go home to monitor their symptoms. This is no different than what we did at other times during this pandemic.
Doctors appointments and outpatient clinics are open and continue to operate normally. Patients should still show up for appointments.
All out-patient facility services such as laboratory, imaging, pulmonary function tests, and physical therapy continue to operate normally. Patients should still show up for appointments.
Yes, BMH and GCMC have contingency plans in place for surges. Where northern Idaho activated CSC several weeks ago, this has given us the opportunity and time to make plans regarding our facility. We have been working on this plan for months, and have made the necessary preparations in the event we need to escalate CSC.
We are monitoring this closely and are communicating with other facilities multiple times per day regarding the regional situation. Re-evaluation of our status is under constant monitoring by our CNO, CMO, others administrators and those that sit on our Emergency Operations Committee.
CSC is a hospital-based decision, so you may hear other facilities in our region who implement advanced stages of CSC on the Crisis Standards continuum. This, however, does not, mean that Bingham Healthcare facilities are at the same place other facilities are at on that continuum. We will work side-by-side with the medical staff and the clinical staff with regards to deciding where our facilities need to be in regards to the Crisis Standards of care continuum.
** Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.