Since the emergence of the Ebola virus in the U.S., CaroMont Health has been working diligently to further develop its emergency response plans and processes to ensure the continued health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees.
While the risk of Ebola spreading in our community is low, CaroMont Health understands the seriousness of the disease and is responding to the situation appropriately. We want our community to know that we are prepared.
CaroMont Health’s Ebola Preparedness Team, in collaboration with Gaston County Health and Human Services and other Gaston County agencies, are closely monitoring the national situation and continuing to support its medical staff and clinics to be prepared to meet any challenges our community may encounter.
For more than a month our Ebola Preparedness Team, comprised of infectious disease experts, medical personnel and health system leadership, has been building on the infection control plans that we have had in place for many years to address patients who present to our facilities, including:
- Implementing internal policies to steer the immediate isolation, management and treatment of patients suspected of being exposed to Ebola.
- Screening ALL patients who present to any CaroMont Health facility or clinic regarding their travel history.
- Requiring staff to follow strict infection control prevention protocols, including hand washing, cleaning and disinfection of patient equipment and environment, and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Educating clinical staff to recognize the symptoms of Ebola and steps to take should a patient present with these symptoms.
- Providing necessary protective equipment and infection prevention protocols based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Our PPE protocol offers complete body coverage using Tyvex suits.
- Minimizing staff exposure by identifying units that will care for these patients including the Emergency Department, Infectious Disease, Acute Care and Critical Care. These staff members will receive hands-on training and extensive support to ensure they are prepared to protect themselves and others.
Protecting our patients, visitors and employees is our top priority, and the planning and guidance of our infection prevention team will ensure that we are well prepared to provide excellent care in a safe environment.
Todd Davis, MD, Vice President, Patient Safety, Quality and Medical Affairs Officer