Clinical CareFeatured

Asante activates crisis standards of care

Heavy patient volumes from flu, RSV and COVID are straining our hospitals.


Asante is experiencing an extreme surge in patient volume, mostly due to the rapid rise of influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19 cases.

We recognize the intense strain the tripledemic is having on our already-limited staffing resources and capacity. That’s why we are taking action to activate crisis of care standards for nurse staffing at Asante Rogue Regional and Asante Three Rivers beginning today.

Crisis standards of care may be activated when patient care resources are severely limited; more patients need critical care than hospitals can supply; and moving patients to another critical care center is not an option. Asante plans to follow the guidance issued by Oregon Health Authority as we navigate this tripledemic.

Key points:

  • Declaring crisis standards of care gives Asante the flexibility to adjust staffing plans systemwide. For example, it allows us to alter patient assignments based on resources available.
  • We will continue to care for patients in the location that best meets their needs, meaning some patients may be transferred within our health system.
  • We will thoughtfully review daily surgeries and procedures to consider those that can safely be postponed or canceled.
  • We will be receiving at least eight state-funded contract nurses through Gov. Brown’s executive order extending the state of emergency. (Asante originally requested 40 and we’re waiting to learn if more nursing contracts will be filled.)
  • Asante is not making triage decisions (i.e., decisions necessary to provide equitable prioritization of critical care resources). We are entering crisis standards of care in order to optimize all resources, including staffing.

Asante is not the first health system in our region to take this step. Portland-area health systems have activated crisis standards of care, including OHSU, Legacy Health, Providence and Kaiser Permanente.

We are working collaboratively with health systems in our region, with county public health officials and OHA to discuss resources and capacity constraints. We continue to provide educational information to the public to first seek care with primary, urgent or immediate care providers for non-emergency issues.

We are monitoring and evaluating the situation at all three hospitals on an ongoing basis. If your department is directly impacted by the activation of crisis standards of care, further updates will be provided through your leadership in the coming days.

The past few years have provided us with a wealth of experience to draw from — of caring for seriously ill patients, of creating surge plans to maximize our valuable resources, of finding creative solutions to unforeseen challenges.

Your experience, coupled with your compassion for our patients and community, will see us through this challenging time. I want to personally thank you for all you do every day. Through teamwork, we will prevail.

Tags: ARRMD, ATRMC, covid-19, crisis staffing, flu, hospitals, RSV
New practices help prevent pressure injuries
New medical/pharmacy ID cards coming

If you need answers for a personal work matter, please contact the author or department directly instead of leaving a comment.

COVID 19 Bug


Popular related content