Infection Prevention Guidelines – Critical for Safety

 

Submitted by Jack Lynch, President and CEO, Andy Norton, MD, SVP and Chief Medical Officer, Barbara Wadsworth, SVP and Chief Nursing Officer, and Mark Ingerman, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases

 

Colleagues:

Wednesday morning, a patient presented to the Riddle Hospital Emergency Department with some concerning symptoms. Clinical teams in the ED immediately evaluated the patient for Ebola and followed all established protocols for the protection of our staff and patients. The PA Department of Health (DOH) was notified immediately, and it was quickly determined the patient was at no risk for the disease. We thank our ED team, Infection Preventionists and Emergency Management team for their competent, caring and timely response.

The safety of our patients, employees, medical staff and volunteers is our number one priority at MLH, and this experience offers an opportunity to reinforce the critical nature of strictly following our Infection Prevention Guidelines. We are continually updating our MLH Emergency Operations Plan as we learn more information about the Ebola cases diagnosed in the United States. All high-risk areas in our hospitals are stocked with necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the protection of our employees and medical staff, and refresher training on proper wearing and removal of this PPE is rolling out across the System. Outpatient offices should routinely screen all patients with our established Ebola screening process and immediately contact the closest MLH Emergency Department if a patient seems at risk for Ebola. Please visit the Ebola Preparedness page on the MLH intranet (login may be required) for more information on screening and infection prevention guidelines.

As a reminder, staff should not share any information about patients to any news outlets or on their personal social media accounts. Any questions from the news media should be directed to Bridget Therriault, System Director of Communications, 484.222.9154 or 484.580.1025.

Thank you for your continued commitment to serving our patients and for ensuring the safety of the entire MLH community.

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