Healthcare System Capacity

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many New Mexico hospitals are experiencing a medical surge. The term medical surge describes the ability of hospitals to provide adequate medical evaluation and care to the community during events that exceed the limits of the normal medical infrastructure.

Further, healthcare resources may become so scarce that re-allocation decisions are needed, staff may have to practice outside of their normal scope of practice, and the focus of patient care may need to switch to promoting benefits to the population over benefits to individuals. In such an event, hospitals would shift from a medical surge model to a Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) model. Careful planning and coordination among New Mexico hospitals, providers, and state agencies are all designed to prevent the State from entering a CSC (to learn more read here).

As NM evaluates reopening, it will carefully consider the availability of scarce hospital resources, specifically the availability of Adult ICU beds as well as PPE supply among the State’s 7 larger (hub) hospitals. These hub hospitals serve as a resource for smaller satellite hospitals within the state. Significant diminished capacity among the Hub Hospitals would signal concern.

NM Hub Hospitals: 

  1. University of NM (ABQ)
  2. Presbyterian (ABQ)
  3. Lovelace Medical Center (ABQ)
  4. CHRISTUS St. Vincent (Santa Fe)
  5. San Juan Regional Medical Center (Farmington)
  6. Memorial Medical Center (Las Cruces)
  7. Eastern NM Medical Center (Roswell)

Gating Criteria Targets: 

Availability of scarce resources across NM’s 7 Hub Hospitals**

  • Adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds occupied: 460 beds or less. A downward trend is a positive development. 
  • 7-day supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): minimum of 6 Hub Hospitals have 7-day supply. An upward trend is a positive development.