LA PLATA, Md. (December 30) – University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center has implemented crisis standards of care (CSC), effective immediately, in response to the substantial increase in COVID-19 positive patients at the La Plata hospital. Since Dec. 18, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID has more than doubled to 34 patients as of Dec. 28.

“The current demand for care is depleting our available resources, including staffing, and the unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases has created the necessity for health care organizations to act nimbly in fighting this pandemic,” said Noel Cervino, President and CEO of UM Charles Regional. “This is not a decision we made lightly and was only made after exhausting all other avenues to address issues that are challenging the operation of our hospital.”

University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine to establish an approach for how hospitals move to CSC, in line with recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine. These criteria and processes have been used to determine UM Charles Regional’s move to
activate CSC.

Taking this action will enable the hospital to care for the increasing number of patients in the safest and effective way during this crisis. A few of the changes under CSC protocols may include streamlining processes, modifying surgical schedules consistent with Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent orders, simplifying documentation, and redeploying staff. Implementing CSC protocols allows the flexibility to increase access to care for those that need it most and enables the hospital to care for as many patients as possible with available staffing.

“I’m incredibly proud of the way our staff has adapted and responded to the first two years of this pandemic – they have met every challenge, and will meet this challenge,” Cervino said. “We will do everything in our power to support our team and recognize the significant burden our staff has carried.”

“We are striving to optimally respond during this crisis while preserving the ability to evaluate and treat all patients,” saidDavid Marcozzi, MD, UMMS COVID-19 Incident Commander andProfessor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.“This crisis designation allows the communities we serve to transparently understand the challenge we are facing so all of us can work to mitigate the effects of COVID and more of us can stay healthy.”

Enacting CSC protocols also allows the hospital to manage expectations within our community about the reality of what our hospital is currently experiencing, how that may impact patient care, and what measures individuals can take to reduce the burden on our hospital.

For more information on the hospital’s move to a Crisis Standard of Care, visit this link on UMCharlesRegional.org.


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