"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thrown Under The Bus

That sound you just heard was the newly diagnosed Texas Health Resources nurse who now has a confirmed case of Ebola, as well as the entire Texas Health Resources organization, being thrown under the bus by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control.  While he was at it, he either intentionally or unintentionally took the opportunity to throw the other 4999 US hospitals under the bus, as well.  

He told the world that the second contraction of Ebola in the U.S. was because of a breach in protocol, i. e. poor technique by a health care worker who is a nurse and a trained professional. Now the CDC is going to work with hospitals to teach us how to properly gown and glove.  

There were a whole lot of other ways the CDC could have handled this reported exposure, but they chose the "the bus route."  You gotta love politics.  The Director's self-proclaimed "tell it like he sees it" approach fails to mention that he is following the Administration's policies at whatever cost.  I can understand not wanting to create panic across the U.S., but maybe understand the situation a little better before declaring that hospitals don't know what they are doing, which seemed to be order of the day yesterday for ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN. 

Also, who better to deal with such matters as isolation, quarantine, worker and patient protection than hospitals, etc.?  This same government now has 4000 troops and Public Health Service members in or en route to west Africa to work directly with Ebola patients and their current caregivers.  Do you really think that the military and the US Public Health Service have thoroughly trained these individuals to follow their "well established" protocols; they haven't.  

One would think if you are with the Public Health Service that you would have the knowledge and background to deal with such situations.  They  are very well trained in many aspects of health care and medicine, but not the care and treatment of Ebola patients.  Everyone is getting a crash course.  These Public Health officers are coming out of federal prisons, off Indian Reservations and out of federal government offices such as CMS, FDA and CDC.  The same with the military; a crash course for the great majority, but yet hospitals that deal with similar exposure and subsequent isolation situations daily, maybe not as deadly as Ebola, are being criticized by the CDC for failing to follow protocols.  

How about stopping the travel out of west Africa, reserving judgment on the work of trained professionals, giving all US hospitals what they need to best care for and treat Ebola patients, designating some hospitals as super centers across the U.S. for the extended care of such patients and establishing the necessary regulations for the safe handling, transportation and disposal of Ebola waste rather than on a case by case basis.  You have had months, if not years, to have been working on this and so far very little has been done.  

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