Date of this Version
Open Forum Infect Dis. published 18 June 2015
Background: The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States and subsequent cases among two healthcare workers caring for that patient highlighted the importance of hospital preparedness in caring for Ebola patients.
Methods: Infectious disease physicians who are part of the Emerging Infections Network (EIN) were surveyed about current Ebola preparedness at their institutions from October 21-November 11, 2014.
Results: Of 1566 EIN physician members, 869 (55.5%) responded to this survey. Almost all institutions represented in this survey showed a substantial degree of preparation for the management of patients with suspected and confirmed Ebola virus disease. Despite concerns regarding shortages of personal protective equipment, approximately two-thirds of respondents reported that their facilities had sufficient and ready availability of hoods, full body coveralls and fluid-resistant or impermeable aprons. The majority of respondents indicated preference for transfer of Ebola patients to specialized treatment centers rather than caring for them locally. In general, we found that larger hospitals and teaching hospitals reported higher levels of preparedness.
Conclusion: Prior to the CDC’s plan for a tiered approach identifying specific roles for frontline, assessment, and designated treatment facilities, our query of infectious disease physicians suggested that healthcare facilities across the United States were making preparations for screening, diagnosis and treatment of Ebola patients. Nevertheless, respondents from some hospitals indicated that they were relatively unprepared