In response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic, the largest in history, MedStar Health began a focused program to improve healthcare provider response to patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola infection. While these actions are being taken in response to the recent Ebola outbreak, these practices and procedures also will help protect our staff when treating any patient with a contagious disease.
To ensure we had an accurate understanding of the disease process and best practices for caring with patients suspected or confirmed of having Ebola, we visited other healthcare facilities in the county and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We solicited input from our staff, including nursing, infectious disease and corporate legal counsel to ensure our training was complete and in line with current best practices. Because of our preparation, we are vetted by the CDC as one of the 35 hospitals in the US as an Ebola certified hospital.
I had the opportunity to participate in developing the phase 1 and phase 2 training programs of instruction, as well as participating in a video shoot of the donning and doffing procedures using either a surgical mask or a powered air purifier (PAPR), which has been turned into a digital application which clinicians can access via their smart phones. Phase 3 training is being developed.