Archive for: October, 2014

Upcoming HCPro webcast helps prepare your facility for Ebola

By: October 28th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

Join us for Ebola: How to Prepare Your Facility, to learn all you need to know about protecting your healthcare facility while providing the highest level of care for your patients. The show will take place on Monday, November 17 from 1-2 p.m.

This program will help hospitals clear up misconceptions surrounding the latest Ebola outbreak and help facilities develop a response plan in the event they receive a patient with Ebola or similar disease.

During this 60-minute webcast, infection control expert Marge McFarlane and healthcare security expert Tom Smith will:

  • Assess the current status of the Ebola outbreak and the preparedness level of healthcare facilities
  • Separate fact from fiction about transmission and patient care
  • Provide tips on infection prevention as well as intake, isolation, and disinfection procedures unique to Ebola
  • Discuss emergency management and facility security control issues that occur during an outbreak
  • Discuss access control and compliance lessons learned from the SARS experience from 2003
  • Provide suggestions to improve staff training, communication, and support for frontline staff (police and security, valet parking, guest services, environmental services, engineering staff, admitting staff, etc.) when dealing with suspected cases

At the end of this webcast, you will be able to:

Confidently and quickly activate a facility response plan to an Ebola patient, knowing your staff has been adequately trained and briefed with the latest information from the CDC and other agencies

  • Maintain ongoing communication regarding the situation both inside and outside the doors of your facility
  • Provide your staff and security team with the tools they will need to maintain order and properly intake and triage patients in the event of a major outbreak of Ebola or similar disease
  • Have an understanding of the PPE and isolation needs necessary to protect others from contracting Ebola
  • Identify how to properly manage, dispose of, and transport hazardous medical waste that will be generated during an Ebola outbreak

For more information or to register, click here to visit the HCPro Marketplace.

Guest column – Train now for proper Ebola PPE

By: October 20th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

The following is a guest blog by Dan Scungio, MT (ASCP), SLS, a Laboratory Safety Officer for Sentara Healthcare, a multi-hospital system in the Tidewater region of Virginia.

Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHF) or Ebola is the hot topic right now in healthcare facilities and in laboratories across the nation. Under normal circumstances, the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be confusing to staff. With adjustments that need to be made for handling and processing samples from suspected or confirmed VHF patients, that confusion can mount.

A look at OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens and Chemical Hygiene Standards will make clear the requirements for proper PPE selection and use under usual circumstances in the clinical laboratory setting. Fluid-resistant lab coats, gloves and face protection are all part of the everyday PPE required. While the CDC has been very specific about PPE use when involved with direct care of VHF patients, the guidance has been less exact for laboratorians and specimen processing. The point that is often stressed is that Standard Precautions, those precautions that we should always be utilizing in the lab, are sufficient for protection against the Ebola virus.

Much information has been distributed about how lab testing was handled for the two Ebola patients at Emory University, but in those cases, only Point of Care Testing was performed near the patient rooms, and no testing ever made it to the actual laboratories in the facility. Some specific recommendations for handling the highly pathogenic samples include:

–         Utilizing a gown rather than a lab coat to completely cover the front of the employee

–         Double-gloving

–         Full face protection to include goggles and a respirator or a full-face shield

When making decisions about the PPE for your staff, gather information from the CDC, your infection prevention department and other credible resources that you may have. Train your staff how to properly don and doff the PPE, especially if you obtain equipment you do not use under normal circumstances.

I heard someone say that because of Ebola that lab staff really needs to “buckle down and use PPE to keep themselves safe.” That should happen all of the time, not just now. Laboratorians never know what pathogens they may be handling with the specimens they process and test. That’s one reason Standard Precautions was introduced. Keep your lab staff safe now and always by properly using PPE that always offers the protection needed in the laboratory.

How does your facility prepare for Ebola?

By: October 13th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

As you may have all heard, a hospital worker in Dallas is confirmed as the second case of Ebola in the U.S., and a breach in protocol is being blamed for the transmission of the virus.

The CDC can make all the protocol recommendations they want – but unless healthcare workers listen and put on their PPE and follow the proper processes, this will continue to happen.

I’d like to know – what is your facility doing to prepare for possible Ebola cases? Are there any special protocols or training that are being put into place?

I am most concerned about the front-line workers – nurses and receptionists and the like who are going to be the first ones to come in contact with the patients with flu-like symptoms. How do you protect them while not turning your hospital into a scene from the movie “Outbreak”?

As always, feel free to drop me a line at

October webcast examines financial benefits of quality and patient safety

By: October 9th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

Patient safety and quality improvement efforts often fail to demonstrate improved financial outcomes. On Monday, October 27, HCPro will present “Monetizing Quality: A Model of Safer Care That Reduces Cost” with Maleek Jamal, PhD, and Allan Frankel, MD.

Jamal and Frankel will describe how to build patient safety programs that measure and improve clinical and financial outcomes, justifying ongoing further investment by providers into the activities that promote safe and reliable care.

Visit for more information and to register for the program.


We need your input for a possible Ebola webcast

By: October 9th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

Hi folks –

We at HCPro are discussing the possibility of hosting a special webcast about infection control – and focusing quite specifically on the Ebola situation—from a healthcare safety and readiness standpoint.

Also, with the Enterovirus going around as well, we feel there is a lot of misinformation and potential panic in U.S. hospitals and clinics about their readiness. We thought it would be a good time to do a webcast that could talk about how hospitals can prepare for patients, how to properly disinfect rooms, and isolation procedures.

I’d like your input on a couple things:

1)      Is there interest in such a program, and what would you like to see in such a program?

2)      We are looking for potential speakers/experts who would like to participate in the webcast, and can help us develop an agenda.

Due to the timely nature of the subject, we are looking to do this in mid- to late November, and certainly before Thanksgiving. If you are interested in participating, or can point me in the right direction towards potential sources, I would be much obliged.

Have a great day, and as always feel free to contact me at

John Palmer


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