System Readiness

I took advantage of the holiday slow-down in routine meetings to visit our Health System’s new serious transmittable disease unit – the “Ebola Unit” – at Glen Cove Hospital. Wow!

I had the good fortune to have Darlene Parmentier, the nurse manager of the unit, tour me around and explain how patients will be cared for. Darlene is an experienced clinician and had a ready answer for every one of my questions. In fact, she had answers for lots of questions I never thought to ask! Despite the fact that the physical space had been transformed from an unoccupied “regular” hospital inpatient unit into a highly specialized containment and care facility in just days, I was amazed at the thoughtfulness of the design. Here are just a few of the salient features:

  • A dedicated pathway (including a dedicated elevator) from an external ambulance bay directly into the patient care area
  • Ample living space for care givers who may choose to stay on the unit between shifts, complete with thoughtful touches like a ping pong table and an X-box
  • Designated training areas, recognizing that continuous simulation and drilling are integral to the effectiveness of the unit
  • Well marked “zones” that correspond with the risk of contact or exposure to infectious agents, and dictate the different the levels of personal protective equipment that must be worn
  • The pervasive evidence of planning, not just for the range of clinical challenges that may arise, but also for the needs of patients’ families, the impact on caregivers and the reaction of the community and news media

Overall, I came away incredibly impressed. Once again, our Health System has stepped up to do the right thing for our patients and our staff, and I am confident that any patient who needs treatment there will get great care.

Let’s hope it never happens.

One thought on “System Readiness

  1. I’m glad that your hospital has stepped up. It’s also nice that the CDC seems to have gotten its act together about sanitation areas-staging and what type of protective clothes to wear in those stages. Thank you for reassuring your readers. I appreciate that.

Join the Discussion! Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s