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Meritus Health Declares Crisis Standards of Care Due to Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Meritus Health declared a "crisis standard of care" Friday afternoon because of the increase in patients and shortage of staffing, all brought on by the surge of COVID-19 cases.

Effective Friday, Meritus Medical Center implemented the new guidelines.

"Crisis standards of care are guidelines designed to help organizations and health care professionals deliver the best possible care in circumstances in which resources are severely limited and health care standards are compromised," according to a news release issued Friday by Meritus Health.

“In putting the needs of our patients and our community first, implementing Crisis Standards of Care is in response to this unprecedented situation and to provide the best care we can while in a crisis,” stated Carrie Adams, chief operating officer at Meritus Medical Center, in the news release.

Several other Maryland hospitals are operating under crisis standards of care.

The changes at Meritus could include:

  • Expediting hospital discharges, when safe and appropriate.
  • Encouraging the community to seek emergency department care when absolutely necessary.
  • Transitioning to telehealth care options when applicable.
  • Simplifying documentation.
  • Redeploying clinical and non-clinical staff to areas of greatest need.
  • Modifying surgical schedules consistent with the governor's recent orders.

“Very simply, there are many patients who require complex care and resources," Adams said. "This is our best way to bring together what is needed to care for our neighbors. 

“Meritus Health continues to be here for our community during this extraordinary time. Our healthcare workers continue to go above and beyond to take care of our community.”

The hospital received help earlier this month when Gov. Larry Hogan declared a limited state of emergency in Maryland, allowing him to activate the National Guard. Some Guard members are stationed at Meritus, arriving Wednesday.

“Very simply, there are many patients who require complex care and resources," Adams said. "This is our best way to bring together what is needed to care for our neighbors. 

“Meritus Health continues to be here for our community during this extraordinary time. Our healthcare workers continue to go above and beyond to take care of our community.”

The hospital received help earlier this month when Gov. Larry Hogan declared a limited state of emergency in Maryland, allowing him to activate the National Guard. Some Guard members are stationed at Meritus, arriving Wednesday.

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