Thursday, October 16, 2014
WMHS Is Ready—Just In Case
WMHS, like all hospitals and health systems across the country, is following the evolving situation surrounding the emergence of Ebola in the U.S. As part of our continuous emergency preparedness planning, our team had already developed a response plan for a possible case of Ebola coming to our health system. That plan was based on the guidelines established by the CDC at that time, and the team was getting everything in place for an appropriate response.
Since the first Ebola patient was identified in Texas, our team has accelerated its efforts to have us ready. Our team is constantly monitoring the CDC’s advisories and is in close contact with state and other federal health agencies. It is meeting regularly to update our plan as new information becomes available, making sure our plan is consistent with the latest guidelines.
Our staff is accustomed to following strict infection control and prevention procedures and we have the necessary personal protection equipment (PPE) available. The readiness team quickly developed additional training for physicians and staff to practice the proper way to put on their PPE and safely remove it. We also are using the “buddy system” where a co-worker monitors the process to ensure the right procedures are followed. Over 100 employees have already gone through the training over the past several days.
WMHS is committed to maintaining the highest standards and most current protocols to minimize the risk of anyone contracting an infectious disease like Ebola. I want to recognize the many members of our readiness team for their hard work to get us prepared for this and similar situations. It is an exemplary group of professionals who are dedicated ensuring the health and safety of our patients and our caregivers.