Home Care and Hospice Preparation for Ebola
Special thanks to Barbara Citarella, MS, RN, RBC, Limited Healthcare & Management, www.rbclimited.com, for writing the following article. If you are attending the NAHC Annual Meeting & Exposition in Phoenix, AZ on October 19 - 22, 2014, Barbara will present two education sessions at the Annual Meeting. The first session will take place on Sunday, Oct. 19, entitled "How to Prevent Infection Control Breaches," and the second session will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 21, entitled "How to Identify Home Care and Hospice’s Triggers and Indicators: Crisis Standards of Care."
Earlier this week, Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) wrote to Sylvia Matthews Burwell, Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting guidance from CDC on appropriate protocols relative to Ebola for home care workers. Officials at CDC indicated they had brought Halamandaris's letter to the Director's attention. NAHC will continue to monitor and report on activity in this important area and will be announcing additional actions it is taking to ensure the greatest possible safety of the home care and hospice community and the patients they serve.
As the Ebola outbreak continues to make headlines around the world, much of the focus, guidance and protocol development have been on acute care facilities. But we in home care and hospice need to be prepared also. At this moment in time, chances are slim we will see an acutely ill patient with Ebola, but we cannot rule it out as the situation changes daily. (As of this moment, a second strain of Ebola has been identified in the Congo, which has a 71% mortality rate.) Here are some suggestions that providers can begin implementing now for the current situation. We will update as it changes.
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