Crisis Standards of Care Plan

Crisis Standards of Care Plan

Doctors caring for patient in emergency care unit of a hospital

Read the latest Vermont Crisis Standards of Care Plan 

The Vermont Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) Plan is intended to provide an ethical and operational framework for statewide resource allocation and clinical guidelines in the case of a catastrophic disaster or massive public health emergency when there are shortages of staffing, medical equipment and/or supplies.

Justice is the foundation of the CSC approach to allocation of resources, based on guidelines that promote equitable access to any care from which patients might benefit, and guided by the following ethical principles:

  • Maximization of benefit and avoidance of the worst outcome – Health care resource allocation decisions during disasters and resource scarcity must be guided by the goal to maximize the number of lives saved and suffering reduced.
  • Health equity – Safeguard vulnerable populations and mitigate against structural inequities.
  • Fairness – Every health care provider should attempt to be fair to all those who are affected by the disaster, without regard to factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, disability or region that are not medically relevant.
  • Soundness – Resource allocation decisions should be based on medical criteria regarding short-term prognosis in response to intervention not social factors susceptible to bias such as race, sex, religion, wealth, insurance status, profession and beyond.
  • Proportionality – Any reduction in the quality of care provided will be commensurate with the degree of emergency and the degree of scarcity of resources.
  • Solidarity - When there are limited resources, all people must consider the greater good of the entire community.
  • Transparency – Resource allocation plan development should involve publicly disclosed membership and whenever possible should seek input from affected communities, health care providers, and emergency management agencies.

This Crisis Standards of Care Plan is a living document; it will be reviewed/revised periodically and as new information becomes available or training and events inform best practice. The Vermont Department of Health Division of Emergency Preparedness, Response and Injury Prevention is interested in all comments or suggestions. Please share any feedback by e-mail at: [email protected].