Passing along this important information that affects the Emergency Room at University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center.
University of Maryland Capital Region Health
Moves to Crisis Standards of Care
LARGO, MD (December 31, 2021) – UM Capital Region Health (UM Capital) is committed to supporting our workforce and caring for our communities, and we are proud to serve the people of Prince George’s County. During the last month, UM Capital has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, substantial boarding in our Emergency Departments and significant staffing shortages.
The current demand for care is depleting our available resources, including staffing, which is why today, UM Capital Region Medical Center, UM Bowie Health Center and the Emergency Department within UM Laurel Medical Center—all part of UM Capital—are declaring a hospital emergency (disaster) and implementing crisis policies, procedures and processes—referred to as Crisis Standards of Care (CSC).
“COVID-19 has created the necessity for health care organizations to be nimble and vigilant in fighting this pandemic. This is not a decision we made lightly and is one that was made after exhausting all other avenues to address issues that are challenging our operations,” said Trudy Hall, MD, UM Capital Vice President and Deputy Chief Medical Officer. “CSC is a necessary step to address the needs of our patients and team members, given the current circumstances.”
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine to establish an approach for how our hospitals move to CSC, in line with recommendations from the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). Moving forward, these criteria – which have been presented to the State – are being used to determine how any of our hospitals activate CSC. UMMS and Hopkins have also worked together to consider all the regulatory implications of such a move.
Taking this action will enable UM Capital to care for the increasing number of patients in the most safe and effective way during this crisis. A few of the changes under CSC protocols may include streamlining processes, modifying surgical schedules consistent with Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent orders, simplifying documentation, and redeploying staff. Implementing CSC protocols allows the flexibility to increase access to care for to those that need it most and enables the hospital to care for as many patients as possible with available staffing.
Nathaniel Richardson, Jr., President and CEO, UM Capital Region Health, said, “We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our patients and team members during this very difficult time. I ask that everyone have patience and that you keep our health care workers in your thoughts.”
“Our priority is patient care, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure our continued ability to treat all patients while supporting our workforce as they deal with extraordinary pressures,” said David Marcozzi, MD, UMMS COVID-19 Incident Commander and Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “This crisis designation allows the communities we serve to transparently understand the challenge we are facing so all of us can work to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and more of us can stay healthy.”
Enacting CSC protocols also allows the hospital to manage expectations within our community about the reality of what our hospital is currently experiencing, how that may impact patient care and what measures individuals can take to reduce the burden on our hospital.
“Hospitals across the county are experiencing a rapid surge of COVID-19 patients, which is very concerning,” said Prince George’s County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter. “These actions will help keep our community members as healthy as possible. I cannot stress enough the importance of vaccinations, including a booster for those who are eligible, and vigilantly following safety protocols such as masking, hand washing, and testing. In addition, I urge residents to keep New Year’s gatherings small and among people who are vaccinated and boosted.”
About the University of Maryland Capital Region Health
Providing primary and specialty health care services to Prince George's County and the neighboring area, University of Maryland Capital Region Health was established in September 2017 upon formal affiliation with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), and is committed to improving health outcomes in the communities it serves. University of Maryland Capital Region Health operates the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center, University of Maryland Bowie Health Campus, and the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Group with practice locations in Cheverly, Suitland, Bowie, Laurel and the National Harbor. Together, community physicians and University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM) faculty provide clinical expertise across a range of specialties and programs including: acute rehabilitation; anesthesiology; critical and chronic ventilation care; emergency medicine; neonatology; orthopedics; and vascular surgery. University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center is home to the State's second-busiest trauma center and a highly regarded cardiac surgery program, which is led by faculty from the University of Maryland School of Medicine; a certified and designated primary stroke center. For more information, visit www.umcapitalregion.org.
About the University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state’s future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore professional schools (Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry) in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system’s more than 29,500 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations, including 13 hospitals and 9 University of Maryland Urgent Care centers. The UMMS flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore, is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the State. For more information, visit www.umms.org.