BILLINGS, Mont. - Billings Clinic is getting ready to carry out Crisis Standards of Care as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to grow throughout the region.
According to a release from Billings Clinic, Crisis Standard of Care, recently announced by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, offers instructions on distributing limited medical supplies, space and staff during resource shortages impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Billings Clinic said the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is tremendously overwhelming their facility and other health care facilities throughout the region. Billings Clinic has not yet put Crisis Standard of Care measures into place, but they said it is extremely important they get ready to if needed.
"While the current increase in numbers is moving us closer to having to implement these standards, Billings Clinic is constantly and diligently working to avoid having to do so," Scott Ellner, DO, Billings Clinic CEO said in the release. "The numbers across our region are overwhelming health care facilities and staff. We are doing everything we can to take care of everyone who needs us, an we will continue to find ways to do that."
It is possible Billings Clinic will enter in and out of Crisis Standard of Care several occasions depending on the situation and needs, they said.
Billings Clinic said they will do the following while in Crisis Standard of Care to confront excessive volumes and limited space:
- Work to possibly keep more people out of the hospital by expanding COVID-19 testing and monoclonal antibody treatment services to offer more outpatient services
- Open more temporary triage areas in the Emergency Department to manage the increasing volumes of patients seeking health care
- Continuing to work with nearby agencies and organizations to request temporary staff and National Guard members to alleviate stress on hospital staff
- Create a surplus area for more patients
- Designating more units for only confirmed COVID-19 cases