Survey Reveals Hospital Preparedness for Management of Suspected Ebola Cases is Not Adequate

In response to global concerns about the largest Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak to date in West Africa, documented healthcare associated transmission and the risk of global spread, the International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC) Infection Control Working Group created an Ebola Infection Control Readiness Checklist to assess the preparedness of institutions around the globe.

Tartari, et al. (2015) report data from the electronic checklist that was disseminated to medical professionals from October to December 2014 and identify action needed toward better preparedness levels. Findings Data from 192 medical professionals (one-third from Africa) representing 125 hospitals in 45 countries around the globe were obtained through a specifically developed electronic survey. The survey contained 76 specific questions in seven major sections: Administrative/operational support; Communications; Education and audit; Human resources, Supplies, Infection Prevention and Control practices and Clinical management of patients. The majority of respondents were infectious disease specialists/infection control consultants/clinical microbiologists (75; 39 percent), followed by infection control professionals (59; 31 percent) and medical doctors of other specialties (17; 9 percent). Nearly all (149; 92 percent) were directly involved in Ebola preparedness activities. While 54 percent indicated that their hospital would need to handle suspected and proven Ebola cases, the others would subsequently transfer suspected cases to a specialized center.

The results from this survey reveal that the general preparedness levels for management of potentially suspected cases of Ebola virus disease is only partially adequate in hospitals. Hospitals designated for admitting EVD suspected and proven patients had more frequently implemented Infection Control preparedness activities than hospitals that would subsequently transfer potential EVD cases to other centres. The authors say that the results from this first international survey provide a framework for future efforts to improve hospital preparedness worldwide. Their research was published in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

Reference: Tartari E, Allegranzi B, Ang B, Calleja N, Collignon P, Hopman J, Lang L, Chee Lee L, Lin Ling M, Mehtar S, Tambyah PA, Widmer A and Voss A. Preparedness of institutions around the world for managing patients with Ebola virus disease: an infection control readiness checklist. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2015, 4:22  doi:10.1186/s13756-015-0061-8