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In 2020, the early partnership between the Northwest Healthcare Response Network (NWHRN) and Harborview Medical Center was instrumental for creating the vision for the Washington Medical Coordination Center (WMCC)​ and establishing its operational framework. Coupled with Harborview’s clinical and operational expertise, NWHRN leveraged its health care delivery and disaster response proficiency as well as its long-standing relationships in the community to serve a critical role in articulating the value of the WMCC. This achieved early buy-in among clinical and executive leadership of hospital systems that normally do not collaborate. 

WMCC was initially established to triage and place COVID-19 and related patients requiring acute hospital care in an equitable manner across Washington. Operated 24/7 out of Harborview Medical Center, the WMCC aims to prevent any single hospital or small group of hospitals from experiencing significant COVID-19-related resource strain by balancing patient placement across the region and supporting transport coordination to hospitals with additional capacity. In addition to supporting patient/resident placement from healthcare facilities, such as long-term care centers, the WMCC stands ready to assist hospitals at maximum capacity seeking to decompress by transferring a group of COVID-19 or non-COVID-19 patients to other hospitals for continued care.

Through the strong foundation built early in the pandemic and expanded collaboration with additional partners across the state, the WMCC has been able to offer vital support beyond its initial operations in western Washington and has become a key tenant in Washington state’s pandemic response by providing relief to health care facilities statewide. As of April 2023, the WMCC has received over 8,295 hospital requests (adult and peds) for assistance and has completed over nearly 3200 load balancing patient placements. ​

Read the full impact article by clicking here, published by ASPR (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response), Health and Human Services.


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