BEL AIR, MD — In case there is a potential surge in patients with the new coronavirus, Upper Chesapeake Health was given emergency permission to add 13 beds to the Klein Family Crisis Center. The health system among several institutions the Maryland Health Care Commission granted an emergency certificate of need to enable health care providers to expand their capacity.
The addition of 13 beds would enable Upper Chesapeake Health to ensure there is enough room for psychiatric patients; those housed at the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center would not be those who have tested positive for the virus.
The plan is “to convert five urgent care bays … into resident beds to increase our capacity for non-COVID-19 guests requiring longer stays,” Martha Mallonee, communications director for Upper Chesapeake Health, told Patch. “This is to prepare for the possibility of not having enough behavioral health beds” at Harford Memorial Hospital.
Normally, she said Harford Memorial Hospital has 28 behavioral health beds, but the hospital had to reduce the number to 14 to accommodate social distancing. Psychiatric patients from Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and Harford Memorial Hospital may be redirected to the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center.
“Typically a behavioral health patient may first be seen in either of our emergency rooms,” Mallonee said.
“The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center would only be used to accommodate non-COVID-19 behavioral health patients requiring a longer stay but not having an available bed,” she said.
“Preparing for a surge of patients at both of our hospitals brought special challenges throughout both facilities,” Mallonee said. “We are working collaboratively with all three facilities to make sure we are providing the best possible care for people struggling with mental health emergencies.”