We held our first Governor’s Council on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response meeting late last week. The Council outlined 2 priorities…identifying a hospital or hospitals in Arizona that would be responsible for treating any Ebola patient, and improving outreach to physicians across the state to ensure that they have the information needed to effectively identify patients that may be suspect Ebola patients.
Providing care to Ebola patients is complicated and labor intensive. Any hospital treating an Ebola patient will need to be able to meet the needs of their patient while protecting their staff – not an easy task. In addition, patients may present with complicated underlying medical conditions in addition to their Ebola diagnosis (like diabetes or kidney problems), making treatment even more difficult. By identifying specific treatment centers we’ll be able to provide better focus for the entire system. Looping in Emergency Medical Services transport will be a critical component of this work group.
We also developed a new Clinician Toolkit this week and began distributing it through various channels. We asked our public health licensing team to commit time over the next couple of weeks to physically visit each licensed outpatient treatment facility in Arizona to make sure they have and understand how to use the outpatient treatment clinic Ebola toolkit.