Idaho activates “crisis standards of care” in northern part of state

Sept. 8, 2021

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has activated “crisis standards of care” (CSC), or rationing, in Northern Idaho because of a severe shortage of staffing and available beds caused by a massive increase in patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization, according to a news release.

Although DHW has activated crisis standards of care in North Idaho, hospitals will implement them as needed and according to their own policies, the department said in the release.

“Crisis standards of care is a last resort. It means we have exhausted our resources to the point that our healthcare systems are unable to provide the treatment and care we expect,” said DHW Director Dave Jeppesen. “This is a decision I was fervently hoping to avoid.”

In a news release the department explained that “patients admitted to the hospital may find that hospital beds are not available or are in repurposed rooms (such as a conference room) or that needed equipment is not available.”

“In rare cases, ventilator (breathing machines) or intensive care unit (ICU) beds may need to be used for those who are most likely to survive, while patients who are not likely to survive may not be able to receive one,” the department said in a document with answers to frequently asked questions.

Visit Idaho for more news