U.S. Healthcare Preparedness in Depth
Domestic Preparedness Snapshot--Summer 2014
In the early phase of the Ebola epidemic, any U.S. healthcare facility with trained staff, isolation room capacity, and well-stocked supplies and equipment was considered capable of caring for an Ebola patient. But Mr. Duncan’s death in Dallas and the subsequent Ebola transmission to the two nurses raised questions about whether U.S. hospitals were adequately prepared to deal with the deadly virus.
In three hospitals across the United States, small but well-equipped isolation wards already provided a front line of treatment for highly infectious diseases, and stood ready to contain and treat Ebola. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Special Clinical Studies Unit in Bethesda, MD, Emory University Hospital’s Isolation Unit in Atlanta, GA, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Biocontainment Patient Care Unit in Omaha had the best equipment, the right protocols, and the properly-trained personnel to deal with diseases most other hospitals were unprepared to confront. These hospitals worked closely with CDC, and collaborated to share their expertise and know-how with hundreds of hospitals across the nation who wanted to know how to prepare their facilities and staff if a patient with Ebola arrived in there.
Below is a December, 2014 map with the locations of 44 U.S. Ebola Treatment Centers and 217 Ebola Assessment Hospitals. CDC and partners provided information through web-based tools, daily calls, mobile training applications, live training events, and in-depth clinical trainings by experts at Emory University Hospital and Nebraska Medical Center. With strategic partners, CDC was able to reach more than 150,000 healthcare workers. CDC also partnered with Partnership for Quality Care and healthcare unions to conduct live training events in New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. These trainings reached more than 6,500 people in-person, and more than 20,000 via live webcast. Additionally, CDC, Emory University Hospital, and Nebraska Medical Center trained more than 460 healthcare workers from 87 healthcare systems, including 37 new Ebola treatment centers, on all aspects of infection control and care for patients with Ebola.