December 7 2021
6:36 AM
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Oregon's lack of crisis standards of care worries health care officials

Story by Katherine Cook

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Published on September 12, 2021 7:00 AM
PORTLAND, Oregon — With COVID cases surging in Idaho's panhandle and hospitals there exceeding capacity, the state of Idaho recently activated its crisis standards of care. That means care is not guaranteed for everyone. Instead, doctors are advised to treat patients who are most likely to survive — not necessarily those whose conditions are most critical. The goal by doing that is saving as many lives as possible while space is limited.

But in Oregon, such crisis care standards no longer exist.

"A pandemic is the time when you absolutely need crisis standards of care in place," said Becky Hultberg, president and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. "So for us to not have them right now is really troubling."

Hultberg said having a crisis standards of care document is important for healthcare workers in Oregon as well as patients. She believes everyone should...