Bozeman Health taking on COVID-19 patients from other Montana hospitals, prepared for a local surge

Posted at 11:34 AM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 13:34:01-04

BOZEMAN — With hospitalizations trending upwards in different parts of Montana, MTN News spoke with Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital to see how they’re preparing for the possibility of an uptick in hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

"We’ve anticipated a surge since the pandemic started,” said Kallie Kujawa, director of the incident command at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.

The state of Montana has seen some record-breaking days of daily reported cases of COVID-19 across the state in the last few weeks. And Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital says they’re prepared for a surge and have already seen an increase in hospitalizations.

“In recent weeks, we’ve seen our highest number of hospitalized COVID positive patients, but we are not experiencing the percent occupancy and surges that other communities are seeing at this time,” said Kujawa.

On Monday, Oct. 12, Deaconess Hospital reported a 55% occupancy and told MTN they’re taking in COVID-19 patients from other hospitals in different communities, both large and small.

Kujawa said the hospital takes part in coordinated calls with other hospitals across the state on a daily basis.

“We talk about how we’re going to support one and other in that instance. And so we have taken patients from larger hospitals to offload the burden that they’re experiencing,” said Kujawa.

“And we will continue to do so if it’s safe for patient care and appropriate for the situation.”

Bozeman Health said the Incident Command Team does a daily monitoring of PPE supplies, ICU and ventilator availability, as well as staffing.

Kujawa says Bozeman Health does so by, “looking at daily census, looking at how many patients require isolation, how staff are available, how many staff are unavailable to to quarantining themselves.”

So while the hospital hasn’t seen the surge other hospitals across the state have, they say they stand ready.