Ebola Response Plan

October 21, 2014 By Hartford HealthCare

Hartford HealthCare has developed and is testing a coordinated response plan to safely care for potential Ebola patients.

An interdisciplinary team has been planning the system’s Ebola response since late summer. The comprehensive plan includes:

  • Training the appropriate staff in putting on and taking off personal protective equipment, meeting or exceeding guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To date, 174 individuals have received training.
  • Containing and isolating those possible patients pending further evaluation, to protect patients, family members and staff
  • Use of a three-question screening tool to identify possible Ebola patients:
    • Did you travel outside the United States in the past 21 days?
    • If the patient answers Yes: Was there specific travel to one of the countries affected by Ebola? (The current countries are listed)
    • If the patient answers Yes: Is the patient showing any of the symptoms compatible with Ebola? (The appropriate symptoms are listed)
  • Evaluation to clarify the patient status and if necessary, arrange for and provide care for them in a highly bio-secure unit – a “hospital within a hospital” at Hartford Hospital. Care for any Ebola patient would be given by specially trained, volunteer staff.

"This is not something you can train for in a casual way. You have to be bullet-proof in the level of preparation. We understand that health care workers are most at risk, and that is why we must train. We are committed to our providers' safety," said Rocco Orlando, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Hartford HealthCare.

Hospitals and emergency departments throughout Hartford HealthCare will conduct drills to test Ebola readiness on Thursday and Friday of this week.

"Although the likelihood of a mass infection across the country is exceedingly remote, safety is paramount. We are remaining vigilant in our efforts to care for a potential patient diagnosed with Ebola, while protecting the health and safety of all our staff and patients," Dr. Orlando said.