Colorado Hospitals Activate Tier 3 of Combined Hospital Transfer Center to Help Address Statewide Hospital Capacity Concerns
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLO. – Nov. 3, 2021 – Colorado hospitals and health systems have activated Tier 3 of the Combined Hospital Transfer Center (CHTC), the highest tier available, to manage patient transfers on a statewide level as concerns about hospital capacity continue to escalate. The CHTC was re-activated at Tier 1 in August when COVID-19 hospitalizations were beginning to increase – a trend that has continued, putting monumental strain on the state’s health care system.
As part of the CHTC, both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 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 are 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 access to care for as many Coloradans as possible.
Tier 3 of the CHTC escalates the reach of the transfer center from an individual hospital or regional level to the statewide level, creating a single point of contact for any hospital in the state that needs to transfer patients due to capacity concerns. This transfer system is bi-directional, allowing hospitals to load-level capacity by sending sicker patients to medical centers with more specialized care resources and moving recovering patients to hospitals with available space and staff.
Last week, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D 2021-135, which will help facilitate the work of the CHTC in Tier 3 by allowing the transfer center to direct the transfer of patients without first obtaining the patient’s consent for the transfer. It also requires facilities to receive any transfer determined necessary by the CHTC.
“This is an extraordinary step taken by the state’s hospitals and health systems,” said Darlene Tad-y, MD, CHA vice president of clinical affairs. “Even when under immense pressure, the state’s health care system continues to work collaboratively with each other and our partners at the state to ensure the best care possible is available to every Coloradan that needs it. However, activating Tier 3 of the CHTC should send a clear message to Coloradans: our health care system is in jeopardy of being overwhelmed.
“Our frontline health care workers and hospitals need everyone’s help to get through this. Please continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, and watch your distance when out in public, and, if you’re able, get a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s also crucial that individuals continue to seek health care at the right level, the right time, and the right place. The best solution for our capacity issues right now is to lower the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and we need help from all Coloradans to do that.”
About Colorado Hospital Association
Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible, and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers, and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado.
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