Montana hospital capacity holding up during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 8:00 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 10:01:29-04

BOZEMAN — Montana hasn't had as many positive COVID-19 cases as many other parts of the country, and aren't seeing any issues with hospital capacity.

“Hospitals in Montana are all safe, open and ready. So, we’re in a much better position than we were in March and April,” Montana Hospital Association president and CEO Rich Rasmussen explained.

“None of the hospitals in Montana are at capacity. In fact, looking earlier today at the total bed capacity within our state whether it’s ICU beds, ER beds or medical surge beds, none of the facilities in our state are at capacity,” he said.

Rasmussen also told MTN News that there is still a back-up plan in place as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

‘We have systems in place that are designed to surge to allows us to move patients from one location to another so that those patients who need the highest level of care would have access to that care and we would move patients through the entire continuum of care delivery in our state to make room for them,” Rasmussen explained.

Bozeman Health officials say they have made sure that they were prepared ahead of time.

“It’s also about the appropriate equipment. We reacted very quickly when the pandemic began, and placed orders for additional, critical equipment that we knew we would need and have already started seeing that coming in,” Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital president Dr. Kathryn Bertany explained.

Those decisions have prepared Bozeman Health not only for COVID-19 but also for other illnesses.

“So, as we move into the winter months, and we potentially have the combined demands of the flu season and everything else that comes with the winter and COVID, we feel confident we’re going to be able to meet the needs of our community,” Dr. Bertany said.

It should be noted that the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Montana is not the same number as people currently in the hospital as many people are quarantined at their homes.