Ebola: Lessons Learned?
Top 10 most important biological preparedness training topics for hospital staff
Test Your Knowledge: questions from the CDC’s 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions
* course numbers may vary by facility
Even with surveillance and travel screenings in place, the recent Ebola crisis provides yet another example of how quickly a dangerous infectious disease can cross the border of one country and spread exponentially into others. Over the first few weeks of the U.S. Ebola crisis, authorities struggled to provide timely communication and support to healthcare providers and the public. As more information became available, infection control guidelines were updated and redistributed. Healthcare facilities scrambled to implement changing protocols and communicate with staff, in some cases while infected patients were already being treated. The CDC and hospital administrators later admitted to costly mistakes that resulted in exposure and subsequent infections of two nurses.
Healthcare workers across the country, including leaders of a national nurse’s union, called for more education, saying the workforce is unprepared to safely care for patients with this deadly disease. Other experts agreed, saying there were, “deep gaps in training for hospital staff.” Dr. Daniel Varga, Chief Clinical Officer for Texas Health Resources where the two nurses were exposed, said in a testimony to Congress that, “Despite the communications regarding EVD preparedness that occurred, we realized a need for more proactive, intensive, and focused training…” (Varga, 2014)
In 2002, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) first emerged in a few Chinese citizens, and within weeks had spread to five continents. Exposed healthcare workers, patients, and visitors later became infected and spread the disease to others in healthcare facilities. Nosocomial transmission accounted for 72% of cases in Toronto and 55% of cases in Taiwan. Lapses in infection control measures are thought to be the likely cause of infection in healthcare workers. A retrospective analysis of events during the SARS crisis published by the CDC in 2004, said that unrecognized SARS case- patients was a primary source of transmission and early detection and interventions were important to limit spread. It went on to conclude that preparedness planning should include training on early patient identification and appropriate technique for the use of PPE.
These two pandemic experiences provide very similar opportunities to learn valuable lessons for Ebola and SARS in the future, but perhaps the greater lesson is that healthcare personnel need to be better prepared to face many types of biological threats that could and likely will, arrive in hospitals and clinics with little or no warning. Did we really “learn” from SARS? Experts agreed that better education and preparedness were key to preventing future lapses in early patient detection and infection control, yet, the very same mistakes are to blame for exposure to healthcare workers and others with Ebola. Will we learn from these new experiences by improving education and preparedness measures to prevent the same problems in the future? One thing is for certain, the time to prepare is now, not when a new threat is already here.
November 18, 2014
Crowne Plaza Hotel – Springfield, IL
Here are the top 10 most important biological preparedness training topics for hospital staff:
Swank HealthCare exhibited at the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Critical Access Hospital Conference in Kansas City, MO in October. The conference was attended by more than 500 attendees and 50 exhibitors who all share the same objective; finding solutions to deliver the best patient care in the rural environment.
As a proud Gold Partner of the NRHA, Swank HealthCare strives to be the resource of choice for Critical Access Hospitals faced with educating their staff on a limited budget. A highlight of the conference was revisiting the importance of open communication between customers and solution providers. We learn with and from each other to create stronger bonds and to explore mutually beneficial solutions while focusing on learning management, continuing education, regulatory training and HCAHPS.
For more information on how Swank HealthCare can benefit your Critical Access Hospital please contact us at 1-877-227-0325.
Test your Infection Control knowledge with these questions from the CDC’s 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions.
The recommended sequence for removal of PPE is:
A. Gloves, face shield or goggles, gown, mask or respirator
B. Gloves, gown, face shield or goggles, mask or respirator
C. Face Shield or goggles, mask or respirator, gloves, gown
D. Mask or respirator, face shield or goggles, gloves, gown
Identify the type of type of precautions (standard, contact, droplet, and/or airborne) most appropriate for routine care of patients with these infections.
A. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
B. Varicella Zoster
C. Measles (rubeola)
D. Meningococcal Disease (pneumonia, meningitis)
G. Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease)
Which of the following is NOT a high-priority (CDC Category A) bioterrorism threat?
B. Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
D. Pneumonic Plague
Share your story, tell us where your hospital will be this month or
what topics you would like to see in upcoming newsletters.
Gloves, face shield or goggles, gown, mask or respirator - Areas considered “contaminated” are the outside front and sleeves of gowns and the outside front of goggles, mask, respirator and face shield. “Clean” parts that will be touched when removing PPE are the inside of gloves, inside and back of the gown including the ties and the ties or ear pieces of the mask, goggles and face shield×
|Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome||Standard Precautions – not transmitted from person to person|
|Varicella Zoster||Airborne and Contact Precautions|
|Measles (rubeola)||Airborne Precautions|
|Meningococcal Disease (pneumonia, meningitis)||Droplet Precautions until 24 hours after initiation of antimicrobial therapy|
|SARS||Airborne, Droplet, and Contact Precautions|
|Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease)||Standard Precautions|
Monkeypox - Other high-priority bioterrorism threats include: Botulism, Smallpox, and Tularemia.×