The South Dakota Pandemic Crisis Standards of Care and ICU Triage Guidelines were originally developed back in 2009 by the Sioux Falls Bioethics Network and fellow stakeholder organizations in response to H1N1. The guidelines were ultimately adopted in 2009 by the health systems, but never activated.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LifeCircle SD suggested a study of the 2009 plan to ensure compliance with the Office of Civil Rights guidelines and to re-evaluate the clinical algorithm to provide ethically sound, clinically objective, practical, non-discriminatory and transparent assessment and triage standards for allocation of limited resources in the event of a mass critical care situation during which the demand for hospital and critical care services exceeds capacity.
As a member of LifeCircle SD, SDAHO volunteered to facilitate a legal and medical workgroup with members from the health systems, SD Department of Health, South Dakota State Medical Association and other key stakeholders to review and update the 2009 plan as hospital capacity in 2021 was reaching a crisis level. Input was also received from the independent hospitals and a partnership was formed with the South Dakota Healthcare Coalition.
The updated plan, modeled after the West Texas plan, was approved by the workgroups in October 2021 with formal
endorsement by SDAHO, SDSMA and DOH in November 2021.
The South Dakota Crisis Standards of Care Plan will be implemented when a public health or disaster event overwhelms usual health and medical resources, capabilities, and capacities, resulting in an inability of the healthcare system to provide the standard levels of care to patients. This plan provides the guidelines needed for collaborative development of crisis standards of care across the state of South Dakota and throughout each community.
The goals for the South Dakota Crisis Standards of Care Plan are to:
• Unify South Dakota hospitals and work with a common purpose
• Prioritize critical care resources during a public health emergency
• Help inform local plans
• Identify state vs. hospital roles and responsibilities