Hospitals across the United States must take immediate action to save lives and fairly allocate limited resources by implementing crisis standards of care (CSC).

Hospitals are experiencing large surges in COVID-19 patients, and intensive care units are already over capacity in many areas.  In response, hospitals are canceling admissions and procedures, augmenting staffing, transferring patients, even establishing and operating alternate care sites. But these actions may not be enough. There will come a point in the crisis when these adaptations cannot compensate for the overwhelming caseload. At this point, hospitals must shift to crisis standards of care. This means making unprecedented and agonizing decisions under great uncertainty in order to do the most good possible with limited resources. The tools and publications on this page are intended to help health care providers and public officials plan for the implementation of CSC.

Nine National Organizations Call for Action to Improve Crisis Standards of Care Implementation During Future COVID-19 Surges and Beyond

The National Academy of Medicine and eight other national organizations call for system-wide actions to share clinical and operational lessons learned in order to make improvements based on this past year’s experiences and ready our health care system and communities for the potential for further surges in demand for care.


Crisis Standards of Care and COVID-19: What Did We Learn? How Do We Ensure Equity? What Should We Do?

This discussion paper reviews what we have learned about implementing crisis standards of care during COVID-19, what has worked well, what has not worked well, what changes need to be made to ensure the equitable allocation of care and resources, and what changes must be made to crisis standards of care protocols before the next crisis. 

Rapid Expert Consultation on Crisis Standards of Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This document summarizes the broad principles and core elements of CSC planning and implementation relevant for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rapid Expert Consultation on Staffing Considerations for Crisis Standards of Care for the COVID-19 Pandemic

This document focuses on staffing needs for the care of COVID-19 patients, including the deployment and allocation of expert clinical staff during COVID-19 response. 

Duty to Plan: Health Care, Crisis Standards of Care, and Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

This discussion paper for health care planners and clinicians focuses on the application of CSC principles to clinical care, including personal protective equipment, critical care, and outpatient and emergency department capacity challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Original Call for Action

The National Academy of Medicine and eight other national organizations, in December 2020, called for key actions to be taken in order to do the most good possible for the largest number of people with limited resources.  

Read the statement >>

SLIDES: Introduction to CSC

This slide set is part of Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response – Volume 6: Public Engagement. This volume also contains a complete toolkit for leading community conversations about CSC. 

WEBINAR: Crisis Standards of Care During COVID-19

This 90-minute webinar features Rebekah Gee (Former Secretary of Health, Louisiana), Larry Gostin (Georgetown University), John Hick (University of Minnesota & Hennepin Healthcare), & Jeffrey Kahn (Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics).

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