[Source: State of Massachusetts Department of health, full page: (LINK).]
For Immediate Release - October 31, 2014
Department Of Public Health, Hospitals Announce Collaborative System for Ebola Treatment in the Commonwealth [ ]
BOSTON — The Department of Public Health (DPH) announced today that while the risk of Ebola in Massachusetts remains extremely low, six hospitals in Massachusetts have formed a collaborative system and are prepared to treat a limited number of cases, should the need arise.
The six hospitals — Baystate Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Tufts Medical Center – would accept transfers from other hospitals in Massachusetts based on existing referral relationships and capacity.
“While there are no cases of Ebola in Massachusetts and the risk remains extremely low, this collaborative system shows that Massachusetts health care providers are well prepared,” said Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, RN. “I thank these six hospitals, their leadership, and staff for their dedication and commitment to ensuring that Massachusetts is ready. It’s important to note that other states in the region are also prepared for any suspect cases, and would not need to transfer cases to Massachusetts.”
“Massachusetts hospitals have been working diligently with appropriate staff to ensure that there are comprehensive internal procedures and policies in place in the event of a confirmed Ebola case within the Commonwealth,” said Tim Gens, executive vice president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association. “Hospitals also remain committed to ensuring nurses, physicians, and other frontline health care providers have the proper training, equipment and protocols to remain safe and provide the highest quality care for our patients. Hospitals are partnering with DPH to continually evaluate the specific needs and requirements to ensure an appropriate and coordinated system of care is available throughout the state.”
Each of the state’s hospitals and their emergency departments are able to screen, identify, and isolate any suspect cases, and will coordinate with DPH on risk assessment and patient transfers as needed. Community hospitals will continue to identify and rule out low-risk individuals.
"Thanks to the guidance of Commissioner Bartlett and her team, Massachusetts hospitals have an emergency Ebola treatment plan that takes into account the resources of our providers while maintaining the highest level of safety for patients and staff,” said Steven Walsh, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals. “DPH has been an invaluable partner in building a collaborative system to prepare all Massachusetts hospitals, while ensuring that any high risk or confirmed Ebola cases will be treated in the most appropriate hospital setting."
Ebola is not transmitted through air, water or food. It is only transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who has travelled within the past 21 days to one of the West African counties of Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone. More information is available on www.mass.gov/Ebola.
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