Statewide— Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed an executive order on Monday that details Indiana’s plan for the anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases.
The executive order allows the following professionals who do not currently hold an active license to practice:
- medical professionals who retired or became inactive in the last five years
- medical professionals who hold licenses in other states
- medical professionals who held licenses in other states and retired or became inactive in the last five years
- certain medical students and graduates
These professionals must register with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency and will be able to assist in screenings, telemedicine and other basic procedures to allow regularly licensed medical professionals to be on the frontline.
In Indiana, the baseline number of critical care hospital beds is 1,432. As of Monday, hospitals have already taken steps to increase the number of critical care hospital beds to 1,940. Overall, the state’s plan is to double the number, if needed, by taking existing noncritical care hospital beds, recovery rooms, operating rooms and outpatient facilities, turning them into critical care hospital beds.
In Indiana, the baseline number of ventilators is 1,177 ventilators. As of Monday, hospitals have identified another 750 ventilators that can be used for critical care patients. Overall, the state’s plan is to double the number, if needed, by repurposing ventilators from operating rooms, ambulatory care centers, EMS and the Indiana National Guard.
If needed, after all of these steps are exhausted, Indiana will be prepared to put patients in alternative facilities. The Indiana National Guard and Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with FEMA, are in charge of these plans.
The state of Indiana has been working on plans related to COVID-19 since January, and each hospital has a disaster plan in place. Planning has become more specific for state health and hospital officials as models of the projected impact of coronavirus became available. Based on those models, Indiana’s patient surge is expected to begin soon and the peak is expected to be mid-April to mid-May.