Nebraska Medicine rolling back ‘crisis’ status

The hospital system’s announcement shift to its Crisis Standards of Care plan last month sparked a DHM from the governor.
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 11:02 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2022 at 11:28 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Citing falling COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past week, Nebraska Medicine announced Friday that it would, on Monday, roll back its Crisis Standards of Care plan.

“There has been an overall decrease in COVID-19 admissions in the past week, and the number of staff members in isolation and quarantine has decreased significantly. That combination of factors is allowing us to move out of crisis operations,” Nebraska Medicine said in its news release Friday.

The hospital system said the move to Crisis Standards of Care allowed them to better prioritize COVID-19 patient care and noted that it also saw “a large number of staff absences” during this time.

“Fortunately, the restrictions on surgeries and procedures allowed us to better control hospitalizations, prioritizing care for those who needed it most during that period,” the release states.

The move away from “crisis status” and back to contingency operations means that starting Monday, the hospital will “gradually begin resuming surgeries and other procedures that were delayed during emergency operations” put in place when Nebraska Medicine enacted its Crisis Standards of Care plan for the first time ever on Jan. 13. Hospital officials said at the time that they intended aspects of the plan to remain in place for about two weeks, coming to end on or around Jan. 31.

“During the past three weeks, some patients have had appointments and procedures postponed. Our staff is contacting those patients directly and working to reschedule those appointments and procedures as quickly as possible. We thank the community for continued patience,” the Nebraska Medicine release states.

The health system noted, however, that “contingency operations” indicates that clinical spaces and some practices could still change to meet patient care demands as needed.

Monday’s rollback falls ahead of the Feb. 13 deadline of the directed health measure Gov. Pete Ricketts put in place on Jan. 14 for the Nebraska Medical Center. The DHM ordered Nebraska Medicine not to perform any pre-scheduled, non-emergency surgeries at its Omaha hospital for a month, definitively halting Class C, D, and E inpatient and outpatient surgeries, which are pre-scheduled and non-emergency medical surgeries.

About an hour after the health system’s announcement on the status rollback, the governor’s office issued a revision to the DHM, expiring it at 9 a.m. Monday.

Read the updated DHM

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