Crisis Standards of Care - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Crisis Standards of Care

Crisis standards of care (CSC) is when health care systems are so overwhelmed by a pervasive or catastrophic public health event it is impossible for them to provide the normal, or standard, level of care to patients. In situations like this, a formal declaration by state government would occur to recognize health care systems are in crisis operations that may last for some time. MDH supports CSC planning as it is impossible to predict the timing and severity of a future outbreak and waiting for the disaster to strike would be too late.


  • An Overview of Catastrophic Planning in Minnesota (PDF)  New!
    This report provides a historical overview of catastrophic planning in Minnesota. It reviews how the Science Advisory Team has played an integral role in material development for Minnesota, the Minnesota Pandemics Project, the development of the Minnesota Framework, and the future of this project.

Minnesota Framework

The goal of the Minnesota CSC Framework is twofold:

  1. To outline the Minnesota Department of Health response during a Crisis Standards of Care situation and
  2. To provide planning guidance to health care and public health organizations to successfully manage the transition from conventional to contingency to crisis care and a shift in care from individual patients to the good of the community.

It is broken down into six categories:

Patient Care Strategies for Scarce Resource Situations


CDC Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE

The CDC has release conventional, contingency and crisis strategies specific to eye protection, isolation gowns, facemasks, and N95 respirators.

MDH Contingency Standards of Care for COVID-19: Personal Protective Equipment for Congregate Care Settings
MDH has created a PPE Grid to help facilities conserve PPE in line with MDH and CDC guidance. Facilities must continue to implement contingency and crisis conservation strategies to receive state and federal assets.

These resources are developed and maintained by the MDH Science Advisory Team (SAT). The SAT is devised of subject matter experts from different backgrounds including—critical care physicians, primary care, psychiatrists, pharmacists, ethicists, hospital administration, legal and other disciplines—to develop guidance for hospitals, health systems, and health care coalitions. The SAT advises the MDH Commissioner on strategies for optimal allocation of scarce resources during crisis standards of care situations including ethical and policy considerations.

Updated Monday, 15-Jun-2020 14:21:26 CDT