‘Crisis Standards Of Care’ Put In Place At Frederick Health Hospital

It follows the recent surge in the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick Health Hospital has implemented “crisis standards of care.” Dr. Kathy Weishaar, Vice President of Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer at FHH, sways this action was taken in response to the increasing number of COVID-19 patients coming in, and staffing shortages.

“‘Crisis standards of care’ is in response to the unprecedented patients volumes and staffing shortages we have seen,:” says Dr. Weishaar.

She says it gives Frederick Health Hospital some flexibility when it comes to caring for patients with the highest level of need. “We are taking this action so we can continue to deliver high quality care but understand that the volumes that we’re seeing now are unprecedented.,” Dr. Weishaar says.

FHH says making this move during this time of increasing patient load due to COVID will enable the hospital to care for as many patients at possible with the staff and resources available. But it may require certain changes to protocol such as modifying surgical schedules to be consistent with Governor Larry Hogan’s orders to suspend elective surgeries beginning on December 29th; expediting hospital discharges when it’s safe and appropriate; transitioning to telehealth care when applicable; simplifying documentation; and re-deploying clinical and non-clinical staff to areas of the greatest need.

But Dr. Weishaar says patients who come in with serious conditions such as cardiac arrest, stroke or inquiries from a vehicle crash  will be treated. “We really want to make sure we are utilizing our emergency services for the patients that have urgent and emergent medical needs,” she says.

If patients believe they have contracted COVID-19, and want to be sure, Dr. Weishaar says they should not come to the FHH emergency room for a COVID test. “We have other options in the community to support testing, and we want to make sure that we reserve those resources in the E.D. {Emergency Department}} to address those patients who really need that urgent care,” she says.

But residents can help FHH continue to provide urgent care to the community by getting vaccinated , and boosted when eligible; wearing a mask; and maintaining a social distance., according to Dr. Weishaar.

By Kevin McManus