Health P.E.I. is working toward formalizing a provincewide bed policy.
CEO Dr. Michael Gardam said the policy would map out the way hospitals share in-patient resources, including how patients are moved from one facility to another.
"Traditionally our hospitals have operated quite independently of each other," he said. "What we're trying to get to is an understanding that we're a small island, we're a small province. And our in-patient resources belong, yes to the community, but they also belong to the Island."
Gardam said that while this isn't anything new, having a formal policy will make clearer who is making the decisions to shift resources around.
"We want to make sure that if Prince County Hospital gets in trouble, for example, that beds and other hospitals will be available to help offload that hospital," Gardam said.
"We've always had this to a degree, but we're just making it more formal and making it easier for us to make these changes if we need to."
He said that while Health P.E.I. has worked on such a policy for years, the presence of the Omicron variant in the province has "certainly" expedited things.
"I don't want to get caught in a situation two weeks from now where we have a number of patients who need to be hospitalized and we're still arguing over which hospital is doing what," Gardam said.
"That needs to be more centrally controlled during emergencies like this so that we can find the right resources for people."