Bryan Health using Crisis Standard of Care plan during latest COVID surge

Bryan Health staff tend to a COVID patient.
Bryan Health staff tend to a COVID patient.(KOLN)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 4:16 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:17 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Bryan Health said it has been implementing its Crisis Standards of Care plan amid this latest COVID surge. Many of the elements are in practice at the hospitals and have been in practice for some time.

Below is the statement Bryan Health released Thursday afternoon about how it’s operating during this challenging time.

In July of 2020, Bryan updated a crisis standards of care plan based upon best practice learnings from across the country and our experiences from the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose was to prepare for future and more significant surges.

The main component of our plan is centered around an ethical framework and palliative care. Additionally, it provides a framework for care decisions based upon patient acuity as well as options for emergency facility use.

Bryan Health’s plan calls for activation of various elements of our crisis standards of care plan based on certain conditions or triggers. Many of those elements are in practice and have been in practice for some time. We have repurposed clinical space for expanded use, we have redeployed staff to new roles to provide support for our clinical teams, we are working daily with referring facilities and providers for patient placement and we have had limits on elective procedures and surgeries requiring overnight stays since August, just as we have periodically over the last two years.

Additionally, determinations are being made on patient transfers that we can accept based upon the most acute needs of each individual patient at those given moments. Unfortunately, we have been unable to accept all patients that need the elevated level of care Bryan Medical Center can provide under normal situations.

Our hospital and others across the state are severely taxed. We are seeing accelerating numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations as the Omicron variant spreads unyieldingly across our state.

We are seeing increasing virus breakthroughs among our staff, however with nearly our entire team vaccinated and the majority boosted, we are not seeing serious illness from our team. Yet, fully vaccinated and boosted staff that do get infected remain contagious for a period of time and must be off work to protect patients and visitors that enter our facilities, particularly those who are unvaccinated and remain very susceptible to serious illness. We also have staff absences related to children or family members who need care or supervision until they can return to school or care centers.

To be clear, we need everyone’s help in fighting this latest surge. Please be safe and minimize activities that increase the risk for injury or illness. Please wear a face mask, please wash your hands frequently, please avoid large crowds, and if imminent treatment is not needed, please stay home if you are sick.

We are doing all we can to provide care for all health conditions in the manner you expect from Bryan Health, and request your understanding that the level of service and access you typically would get is currently disrupted.

Lastly, if you are eligible, get vaccinated. If you’ve been vaccinated, get your booster.

Bryan Health

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