Cone Health is Ready for Ebola Cases - Cone Health - Greensboro, NC

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Published on October 06, 2014

Cone Health is Ready for Ebola Cases

Cone Health has developed a website portal with information on Ebola and includes the precautions Cone Health is taking to identify and care for those infected by the virus. The public can find information at ConeHealth.com/Ebola.

“Our infection prevention and emergency management teams started planning for Ebola in late July as the outbreak spread in West Africa. Now that it is clear that anyone could walk into a hospital anywhere in the U.S. with this infection, we want the public to know that we are prepared to keep them safe,” says Cone Health Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Mary Jo Cagle, MD.

Cone Health emergency departments, urgent care centers and Cone Health Medical Group doctor’s offices have been using a screening tool on anyone who may potentially have the virus. The tool consists of a series of questions that helps medical professionals decide how likely it is that the individual may have Ebola. Cone Health has developed a strict protocol for all patients, as follows: 

  • The patient will be asked if he or she has traveled from or been in contact with anyone who has traveled from West Africa within the past 21 days. 
  • If not, normal check-in procedures will be followed.
  • If so, the patient will be asked about his/her temperature or the temperature will be taken. If the temperature is 101.5 or greater, the health care provider will check for symptoms of Ebola and will isolate the patient. The health care provider will call Cone Health Infection Prevention.
  • If the patient is found to be symptomatic – fever of 101.5 or greater, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, red eyes, internal and external bleeding and skin rash – then standard, contact and body fluid precautions (gown, face mask, eye protection and gloves) will be implemented.

This strict protocol helps providers determine the likelihood that the patient has been exposed to Ebola and take appropriate action.

Now that an actual case has been diagnosed in the U.S., Cone Health has distributed Ebola Preparedness Kits to all of its emergency departments, urgent care centers and other places where people who have Ebola virus would likely seek care. Staff education efforts are being ramped up across Cone Health.

“Our goal is simple. We want to identify potential patients, isolate them as quickly as possible and call in our infection prevention team to confirm a diagnosis and begin care,” says Cone Health Executive Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer Theresa Brodrick, PhD, RN.

According to the World Health Organization, Ebola is spread through “...human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids.”

Cone Health’s public portal is designed to reinforce that message with information used across Cone Health as well as links to the latest information on the virus from the CDC and other sources. “Knowledge really is power,” says Cagle. “We want to put information on line to let the public know what we know and to inform them as to how we plan to protect the communities we serve. Cone Health, working with partners from the county to the national level, stands ready.”

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries related to Cone Health, contact:

Doug Allred, External Communications Manager
(336) 832-8659