Colorado hospitals, including Montrose Memorial Hospital, and health systems have activated Tier 1 of the Combined Hospital Transfer Center (CHTC) to help transfer patients during Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on a significant increase over the past several weeks in Colorado, and some hospitals in the state have started to report capacity and staffing concerns with the current and projected case levels.

As part of the CHTC, patients can be transferred from a hospital that doesn’t have enough capacity or needs to move patients for a different level of care. Transfers from the CHTC will be completed through a data-driven process that ensures patients can access the level of care needed while making the most efficient use of the health care system and protecting the system for future capacity challenges.

To date, Colorado hospitals have not reached the triggers set in the plan to activate subsequent tiers of the CHTC.

Prior to activation, CHA led two drills of the center, to test the plan and ensure it would work as intended. Based on feedback from the drills, there was a need to revise Tier 1 in the CHTC plan to ensure hospitals that have care and capacity challenges have an efficient alternative until the subsequent tiers of the CHTC are activated.

It will utilize existing relationships and create a “transfer partnership” between rural and independent hospitals and urban hospitals/health systems that allows for appropriate patient transfers and clinical resources to assist with the management of patients at the smaller facility.

“Throughout the pandemic, Colorado hospitals have worked collaboratively to ensure that they had sufficient space, staff and supplies to provide care for all Coloradans who needed it,” said Darlene Tad-y, MD, CHA vice president of clinical affairs.

“As COVID-19 hospitalizations reach new levels that we had hoped we wouldn’t see, space and staff are our current concerns that we must address immediately. The CHTC will help us level load to efficiently use all the resources available in our hospitals throughout the state to provide lifesaving care for Coloradans who need it.

“Our hospitals and health care workers are continuing to do their part. We need Coloradans to do their part as well – now is the time to change our trajectory and control the virus. Please – Wear your mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance and Wait till it’s safer to gather with others. We are depending on you – please help us stop the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado.”

Montrose Memorial Hospital has also restricted visitation to one visitor per patient, per day, with some exceptions for end-of-life care and other limited circumstances.

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