Lessons learned from hospital Ebola preparation.
BACKGROUND: Hospital Ebola preparation is underway in the United States and other countries; however, the best approach and resources involved are unknown. OBJECTIVE: To examine costs and challenges associated with hospital Ebola preparation by means of a survey of Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) members. DESIGN: Electronic survey of infection prevention experts. RESULTS: A total of 257 members completed the survey (221 US, 36 international) representing institutions in 41 US states, the District of Columbia, and 18 countries. The 221 US respondents represented 158 (43.1%) of 367 major medical centers that have SHEA members and included 21 (60%) of 35 institutions recently defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as Ebola virus disease treatment centers. From October 13 through October 19, 2014, Ebola consumed 80% of hospital epidemiology time and only 30% of routine infection prevention activities were completed. Routine care was delayed in 27% of hospitals evaluating patients for Ebola. LIMITATIONS: Convenience sample of SHEA members with a moderate response rate. CONCLUSIONS: Hospital Ebola preparations required extraordinary resources, which were diverted from routine infection prevention activities. Patients being evaluated for Ebola faced delays and potential limitations in management of other diseases that are more common in travelers returning from West Africa.
Morgan, DJ; Braun, B; Milstone, AM; Anderson, D; Lautenbach, E; Safdar, N; Drees, M; Meddings, J; Linkin, DR; Croft, LD; Pineles, L; Diekema, DJ; Harris, AD
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