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HHS IG: Hospitals are better prepared for Ebola after the outbreak in 2014



Far more US hospitals are ready to deal with Ebola than in 2014, when a rapid outbreak in West Africa put pressure on the American health care system and forced the federal government to rewrite its guidelines on dealing with infectious diseases Watchdog said Friday ,

Fourteen percent of hospital administrators surveyed said they were still not prepared for threats such as Ebola, a sharp drop from the 71 percent who said they were not ready in 2014 when the epidemic killed thousands in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services,

The administrators said it was not easy to train the staff, and it was difficult to be prepared for infectious diseases that were never theirs Entering the door

Ebola is a serious, often deadly disease that is transmitted from wildlife to humans and spreads through human body fluids from person to person

The US had to expect it after Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian, Traveled to Texas in late 201

4 and was hospitalized with Ebola-like symptoms.

He was released after Dallas doctors had missed warning signs about his travel history. But shortly thereafter, he was the first human who tested positive for the disease on US soil and died.

Other people returning from the "hot zone" in Africa were quarantined and sparked a debate over how the US deals with serious diseases, Ebola or other infectious threats, from bird flu to severe respiratory problems as SARS and MERS.

The 2014 Congress has provided millions for hospital care and the federal government has developed a tiered system to guide Ebola patients to specific facilities. In addition, hospitals should conduct "tabletop" exercises and comprehensive exercises that prepare them for patients involved in serious outbreaks.

The IG's report has made significant progress on the paper, with Gulf State administrators better prepared for hurricanes as well.

Yet, administrators said treating with a true Ebola patient would be challenging. First, it would put a strain on their resources and they said that it was unclear whether their preparations would actually pay off because they had no first-hand experience.

"There is not enough contact with [emerging infectious disease] incidents to satisfy employees With their response and training for the situation," said one administrator.

In fact, Ebola outbreaks are rare and have only been traced back to Africa since the discovery of the virus in the 1970s, so it is unlikely that most US hospitals treat a patient like Duncan in the future.

Nonetheless, the timing of the IG report is notable as global health officials raise alarm over an outbreak of Ebola calling for more than 140 lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

World Health The organization said that violence in the region hinders the response and fears that the disease will spread to neighboring countries, even though it has not declared it a global emergency.

HHS Inspector said Each of the approximately 400 hospitals surveyed conducted some measures to prepare for Ebola in the US after 2014, although this was not always easy.

Some employees did not see Ebola training as part of their job description, or I feared they were too busy, and some were afraid that they would get the disease if they got involved in an actual case.

The administration said it was difficult to find local sellers who could handle dangerous waste from an Ebola situation Some changed their contracts to be better prepared.

They also said that it would be difficult to maintain the readiness for a "what if" such as Ebola, as scenario resources are more likely to be used.

The IG report Hospitals should not shun infectious diseases such as Ebola, although federal agencies should update their advice "clearly and concisely" and "provide practical advice that hospitals can more easily apply given their concurrent priorities" [196592002] The report says that the Medicare and Medicaid Services Centers should advise hospitals to mix infectious diseases into the broader plans they develop as a condition for participating in the Medicare program.

CMS agreed that it would add infectious diseases to the definition of "All Hazards" plans its operations manual.

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