The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), in addition to other federal, state, and local partners, aim to increase understanding of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and encourage U.S. hospitals to prepare for managing patients with EVD and other infectious diseases. Every hospital should ensure that it can detect a patient with ebola, protect healthcare workers so they can safely care for the patient, and respond in a coordinated fashion. Many of the signs and symptoms of EVD are non-specific and similar to those of many common infectious diseases, as well as other infectious diseases with high mortality rates. Transmission can be prevented with appropriate infection control measures. In order to enhance our collective preparedness and response efforts, this checklist highlights key areas for hospital staff -- especially hospital emergency management officers, infection control practitioners, and clinical practitioners -- to review in preparation for a person with EVD arriving at a hospital for medical care. The checklist provides practical and specific suggestions to ensure your hospital is able to detect possible EVD cases, protect your employees, and respond appropriately.
While we are not aware of any domestic EVD cases (other than two American citizens who were medically evacuated to the United States), now is the time to prepare, as it is possible that individuals with EVD in West Africa may travel to the United States, exhibit signs and symptoms of EVD, and present to facilities.
Hospitals should review infection control policies and procedures and incorporate plans for administrative, environmental, and communication measures, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) and training and education. Hospitals should also define the individual work practices that will be required to detect the introduction of a patient with EVD or other emerging infectious diseases, prevent spread, and manage the impact on patients, the hospital, and staff. The checklist format is not intended to set forth mandatory requirements or establish national standards. In this checklist, healthcare personnel refers to all persons, paid and unpaid, working in healthcare settings who have the potential for exposure to patients and/or to infectious materials, including body substances, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, or contaminated environmental surfaces.1
This detailed checklist for hospitals is part of a suite of HHS checklists currently in development. CDC is available 24/7 for consultation by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 770-488-7100 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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