UMMS/UMMC Collaborate with Public Health Officials on Ebola Response Strategy
For immediate release: October 23, 2014
BALTIMORE – Oct. 23, 2014 The University of Maryland Medical System is pleased to partner with the State of Maryland and other area hospitals on a coordinated strategy for handling potential Ebola patients. No cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in Maryland. Under the strategy (1) all hospital emergency departments in the state will continue to be prepared to evaluate patients suspected of having Ebola; and (2) should a case of Ebola be confirmed, the patient would be treated at one of three designated hospitals, if no federal facility is available.
This strategy was developed through a partnership among the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the Maryland Hospital Association, Johns Hopkins Health System, MedStar Health, and the University of Maryland Medical System, with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the strategy, a potential Ebola patient in Maryland who could not be treated at a designated federal facility would be cared for at one of three hospitals that are being further prepared with focused support, training, and equipment. The hospitals are:
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore
University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore
MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.
According to the details of the strategy, all of Maryland’s hospitals will screen patients to identify those who potentially have Ebola, will isolate any potential cases, and will work with the state’s public health laboratory to quickly confirm whether Ebola is present. If a case is confirmed, DHMH will work with the CDC to determine whether a federal facility is available to treat the patient. If a federal facility is not available, DHMH will coordinate with the three health systems in Maryland to determine where to transfer a patient for care.
A consolidated approach to Ebola treatment offers several advantages:
Nurses and doctors at consolidated locations, with the aid of intensive training, will develop greater proficiency in treating the unique needs of patients infected with Ebola and in the intricate safety measures necessary to prevent exposure.
Fewer Ebola treatment sites ensures that the communication and operationalization of the latest information from state, federal, and international health agencies is streamlined.
Caring for a patient infected with Ebola requires many specially trained health care staff, complex waste management procedures, a significant quantity of personal protective equipment, and other resources; by consolidating care, Maryland’s health care providers are better able to deploy personnel and resources.
For additional information about Ebola, please visit the following Web sites made available by state and federal public health authorities:
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