Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Colorado rural and urban hospitals collaborate to combat pandemic overcrowding; transfers can go both ways

Coronavirus rates are rising not just in rural areas across the nation, but in many urban areas too, filling up hospitals. That has meant trouble for critical rural patients, who would usually be transferred to larger, more well-equipped urban hospitals. But what about transferring less critical patients to rural areas to make room for them?

The Colorado Hospital Association has a new system to facilitate that, KCNC-TV in Denver reports. The system could be a model for other states. Its Combined Hospital Transfer Center "will be a centralized resource where hospitals can coordinate patient care, should one start nearing capacity or reach capacity," Karen Morfitt reports. "It will help rural areas in need of more critical care space and larger centers looking to release patients."

Less-critical urban patients can be moved to less-specialized rural hospitals so critical rural patients can be moved to the urban hospitals if necessary, CHA spokesperson Cara Welch explained: "We are all in this business for the same reason: We want to take care of patients and we have to work together to be able to do it. When you get to this level of volume, no one should be working on an island."

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