Novant Health Updates on Ebola Preparedness

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Provided by Novant Health

Novant Health recognizes Ebola viral illness is a serious condition. While there is an extremely low chance it will spread within our communities, Novant Health clinicians and support teams are prepared to respond appropriately.

Since the initial communication regarding the Ebola outbreak from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Novant Health has been reviewing its processes and is prepared to diagnose, triage, treat and manage the condition if necessary.

“We have spent additional time reviewing our plans, equipment, supplies, training and engagement with community health partners,” said Tom Zweng, MD, chief medical officer for Novant Health. “Our team members and communities should feel secure knowing we are prepared to provide the right care in a safe environment for all.”

Novant Health is in compliance with the state departments of public health and the CDC’s Ebola guidance and infection control recommendations. Novant Health has also informed staff about how to care for individuals should they present to Novant Health’s physician clinics or facilities with Ebola symptoms, as well as provided information about protecting staff.

“We have provided an Ebola response guide for our team so they are prepared for the arrival of a person potentially infected with Ebola,” said Zweng. “We are also having meetings with key staff to ensure we are aware and prepared. We are working as a system and testing our processes at the facilities.”

Novant Health’s public safety and emergency preparedness staff, in collaboration with infectious disease experts, is closely monitoring the outbreak and continuing to support its clinics and hospitals to be prepared to meet any challenges that may develop.

“We are now asking every patient seeking care in our urgent cares, emergency departments and physician clinics about their travel and will provide further medical screening and isolation if the patient fits the criteria,” said Zweng. We have also provided Ebola isolation packs to our emergency departments for staff to quickly use if there is a suspected case of Ebola. These packs include faces masks and surgical suits.”

While the risk is low, Novant Health is on high alert and is treating the situation as a potential crisis.

“We do want to stress the risk is low,” said Zweng. “But we also want to make our communities aware we are prepared should a patient with Ebola present themselves at one of our facilities.”

If you have questions about Ebola, you may call Novant Health at 888-251-8808.

About Novant Health

Novant Health is a four-state integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient centers and hospitals that delivers a seamless and convenient healthcare experience to our communities. The Novant Health network consists of more than 1,200 physicians and 26,000 employees who make healthcare remarkable at nearly 500 locations, including 15 medical centers and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., Novant Health is committed to making healthcare remarkable for our patients and our communities, serving more than four million patients annually. In 2013, Novant Health provided more than $566 million in community benefit including charity care and services. Novant Health is one of the top 25 integrated health systems in the United States and was named a top 50 “Best Places for Diverse & Women Managers to Work” by Diversity MBA Magazine.

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