Hospital medical surge


A hospital medical surge presents unique challenges and may arise in a variety of different ways due to a diverse set of circumstances. Medical surge events may result in high cost to individuals, healthcare systems, and society in general.

! STOP !

If you think your hospital is experiencing an acute medical surge:

  • Refer to your hospital's incident plans.
  • Notify the appropriate internal personnel within your facility.
  • Begin your facility’s response plans.
  • Call your local public health agency and/or call the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: 303-692-2700 or 303-370-9395 (after hours).



Designing a medical surge plan

The following hospital medical surge resources are designed to support hospitals at every level in their medical surge planning efforts in advance of any type of event. 


Step one: Watch the webinars below.

Step two: Read this workbook.

The Hospital Medical Surge Workbook provides an overview of medical surge planning and guides hospitals through the process of planning for inpatient surge situations with varying target capacity levels.

Step three: Complete these worksheets.

Use the information in the workbook to complete the worksheets with information specific to your facility.

Step four: Collate with this spreadsheet.

Download and then use this master spreadsheet to collate your facility's information into one place.


Step five: The final step is to use the information collected from the worksheets to make a meaningful medical surge plan tailored to the specific needs of your facility.


Additional resources

Below are additional resources for making existing medical surge plans more robust.


 Tabletop exercise (TTX) in a box

This TTX in a box is intended to be personalized for your facility. Use this resource to discuss your written medical surge plans in a safe, low stress environment.


If you already have a medical surge plan, you may consider using existing research to help strengthen your plan. The following are a curated list of resources, sorted by content. Each folder highlights pre-identified best practice resources related to the topic listed.