Ebola Preparedness Focuses on Safety, Identification, Isolation and Treatment

October 17, 2014

Ministry Health Care is working closely with Ascension Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other federal, state and local partners to increase associates’ understanding of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) and to prepare for any type of infectious outbreak, including, but not limited to Ebola, Mers-CoV, CRE, Enterovirus and Dengue. The Ministry team is prepared to address a possible outbreak or exposure from affected travelers or others who may have come into contact with EVD.

At this time, there have been no reported cases of Ebola in Wisconsin.

Ministry has formed a system wide Incident Command team to better prepare and further ensure the detection of infected patients and the protection of healthcare workers to safely care for these patients. The Incident Command team is a multidisciplinary group, with representation from acute and ambulatory associates throughout the health system, HR, IT, lab and communications. The team also serves as a liaison to local and state health departments as well as national reference facilities for guideline adherence, education dissemination and epidemiological data gathering.

“Ministry Health Care hospitals have policies and plans in place for situations like this and we review and train with staff on a regular basis to ensure we are prepared in the event of an actual situation,” said Dr. Michael Clark, EMS medical director at Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston and medical director of Ministry’s system wide Incident Command. “Hospital leaders across the system will continue to be on alert and take all necessary steps to remain prepared in the event the disease continues to spread in the US including the recent activation of a system wide Incident Command Team to assist with education, training and communications.”

Ministry uses a screening tool to help identify patients who may be at risk for Ebola, specifically those who have traveled to West Africa in the last 21 days. If an infected patient is identified, appropriate steps will be taken to provide care for the patient as well as ensure the safety of all patients and visitors in our facilities. Information will also be shared with our local health department, state and CDC officials as appropriate.

For more information about Ebola, transmission and prevention please refer to CDC guidelines.


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