KyOne-ThisWeek

Special Edition
October 16, 2014 | Volume 3, Issue 42

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InsideKentuckyOneHealth.org

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Update: Ebola Preparedness for KentuckyOne Health
A message from KentuckyOne Chief Physician Executive Dr. Damian P. “Pat” Alagia: 

As concern related to the Ebola virus continues to rise across hospitals and health providers in this country, there have been questions about how we should best manage a suspected case of Ebola across our system. The clinical leaders and infectious disease physicians have been working diligently to ensure that KentuckyOne Health remains a safe environment for our patients, visitors, volunteers, employees and physicians.  

There are CDC guidelines in place for management of the Ebola virus. It is clear that Ebola should not be managed using routine infectious guidelines. We will follow the CDC protocols (which continue to evolve) and base our practices accordingly. Based on the current information, we will focus on three major preventative processes:

1. Education
2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use
    and methods
3. Communication and coordination of care 

In addition, we need to ensure everyone is aware of the simple screening methodology and an initial plan of action. The current Ebola screen is positive if the following two questions are answered “yes”: 

1. Does the patient have a fever greater than 100.4?
2. Have they traveled to Africa in the last 21 days?
 

If the screen is positive the initial plan of action is hold in place and contact

     1. Hold the patient, and any family and staff with possible direct contact, in their current location
         until further guidance is provided. Movement could lead to additional exposures.

     2. Contact the appropriate supervisory staff, who will subsequently start the specific infection
         control protocols for Ebola.

     3. FOR ANY SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED CASES, IT IS CRITICAL TO NOTIFY Jennifer
         RoBards, RN, Director of Quality (TEXT or CALL: 502.558.1069). Jennifer will coordinate
         with the appropriate authorities to coordinate care management. Do NOT include Private
         Health Information (PHI) in this communication. 

The KentuckyOne Health Clinical Leadership Team has been and will continue to be in conversation with and guided by county, state, and federal (CDC) health officials. All non-emergent guidance will come from my (the KentuckyOne Chief Physician Executive’s) office, based upon current CDC guidelines. To check the latest information, visit: CDC.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/index.html.  

While the risk of an Ebola case in Kentucky is low, it is possible. Therefore, your help in promoting the Simple Screen and Initial Action Plan is essential:   

1. FEVER
2. AFRICA IN THE LAST 21 DAYS
3. HOLD IN PLACE
4. CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE SUPERVISORY STAFF   
 

As the CDC’s recommended protocols continue to evolve, we will keep you informed of the latest information. We will also provide additional educational and/or training opportunities. As always, thanks for your commitment to KentuckyOne Health and to the safety of our patients and communities.

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