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Communications from Johns Hopkins Medicine

Statements from Johns Hopkins Medicine on recent Ebola events

In the wake of the fast-evolving situation regarding Ebola virus disease, Johns Hopkins has prioritized informing and updating our faculty, staff, students and trainees about preparedness efforts and resources. We will continue to keep our community up to date on pertinent information as we become aware.

November 4, 2014

To the Johns Hopkins Medicine community

Dear Colleagues,

For some months now, infectious disease and other clinical experts within Johns Hopkins Medicine and throughout the country have been preparing to safely care for patients with Ebola virus disease. An important aspect for physicians and nurses in providing care for these patients is proper training to securely put on and remove personal protective equipment (PPE). Mastering these two processes is critical to preventing the spread of the virus. 

We recently informed you that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had asked Johns Hopkins Medicine to lead a team of infectious disease experts to create a series of Web-based training modules to ensure that the CDC’s guidelines for the proper use of PPE were presented as thoroughly and simply as possible.

Spearheaded by Peter Pronovost and members of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, the project brought together systems engineers, psychologists, nurses and design experts to produce the online program, Ebola Preparedness: PPE Guidelines. We are pleased to announce that the training is now available at no charge to health care workers throughout the country on the CDC’s website

The development of this training program is an example of the benefits of collaboration between the public and private sector and between Johns Hopkins Medicine and The Johns Hopkins University. A behind-the-scenes video documents the teamwork and collaboration involved in creating a program that provides the best training and safety measures for clinicians who will care for patients with Ebola.

We appreciate the input and leadership from our colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention; The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control; The Johns Hopkins University’s schools of medicine, public health and nursing; the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; Howard County General, Sibley Memorial and Suburban hospitals; and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. 

Sincerely, 

Paul B. Rothman, M.D.
Dean of the Medical Faculty
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Ronald R. Peterson
President
The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System
EVP, Johns Hopkins Medicine

 

October 23, 2014

To the Johns Hopkins Medicine community

Dear Colleagues,

As news about the Ebola virus continues to dominate the headlines, infectious disease and business leaders across the institution are working tirelessly to ensure that our staff, faculty, students, patients and visitors are as safe as possible at all times.

We have been working across all our campuses to refine protocols, provide training for health care staff and participate in rigorous simulations to test and adjust our procedures based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

We want to make you aware that the CDC released revised guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) on Oct. 20. This guidance focuses on the importance of training, practice and observation of the correct donning and doffing of the personal protective equipment. Johns Hopkins Medicine has supported and advocated for the use of PPE based on the CDC guidelines. With the new guidelines, those of you trained with N95 masks and face shields will be adding a hood. Each hospital will provide with information on how to update your training.  

Although there currently are no patients with Ebola at any JHM facility, we have a detailed and thorough plan for patient care and protecting staff that will be implemented quickly. We recognize, however, that many of you may still have questions. To address those concerns, each of our sites and hospitals continue to hold face-to-face town meetings to give updates and answer questions about local Ebola preparedness. Two such sessions took place yesterday for employees at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Please take a moment to view this informative video from yesterday’s town meeting.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has considerable expertise and experience with infectious diseases, global health, emerging infectious diseases and infection prevention. Many of our nationally renowned experts specializing in hospital emergency and preparedness have been sharing their expertise with local and national media. You can view our interviews and media coverage on our Ebola website.

We also encourage you to regularly visit the Ebola website. It is a valuable source of information about our preparations, provides answers to commonly asked questions and dispels many of the myths surrounding the Ebola virus disease.

Thank you for all that you’re doing to ensure a safe environment for each other, our patients and for our community. We will continue to keep you informed of the significant measures JHM has in place to ensure that we are fully prepared to safely screen, evaluate, and treat patients suspected of having Ebola.

Sincerely,

Gabor D. Kelen, M.D.
Director, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response
Director, Department of Emergency Medicine
Emergency Physician-in-Chief, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Trish M. Perl, M.D., M.Sc.
Professor of Medicine and Pathology
Senior Epidemiologist, Johns Hopkins Medicine

 

October 22, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

Along with other hospitals in Maryland and Washington, D.C., The Johns Hopkins Hospital has been identified as a designated site to care for Ebola patients. Currently there are no Ebola patients at any of the Johns Hopkins Medicine hospitals, but as you have probably seen in the news the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is designating various health and medical centers throughout the country to provide care should the need arise. The Johns Hopkins Hospital is one of the sites that have agreed to deliver care locally along with University of Maryland Medical Center and MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

For some months now, infectious disease and other clinical experts throughout JHM have been preparing to safely care for patients with Ebola without compromising the protection of our other patients, visitors and care team. The CDC has also tapped the Armstrong Institute to lead a multidisciplinary team of infectious disease experts and designers to create an e-learning module to help clinicians don and doff personal protective equipment more easily and safely. Our aim is to provide the best training and safety measures for our clinicians along with the best care for our patients.

There will be more details to come regarding specific plans for care. In the meantime visit our web sites, http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/ebola/ and http://www.hopkins-cepar.org/, where new information is being posted daily.

Thank you for all that you do to keep our patients and your colleagues safe each day.

Sincerely,

Paul B. Rothman, M.D.
Dean of the Medical Faculty
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Ronald R. Peterson
President
The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System
EVP, Johns Hopkins Medicine

 

October 21, 2014

To the East Baltimore Campus

Dear Colleagues,

As the Ebola situation continues to evolve, we recognized that our faculty, staff, students and trainees understandably have concerns and questions about the steps being taken by The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System to prepare for your safety and that of our patients and visitors.

Please plan to attend one of the two town hall-style presentations to learn more about Ebola and our preparations.

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 22
Times: Noon to 1 p.m. or 2 to 3 p.m.

Both events will be held in the Chevy Chase Bank Auditorium in the Sheikh Zayed Tower and will feature speakers from the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response and the Johns Hopkins Office of Epidemiology and Infection Control.

For more information for the Johns Hopkins community about Ebola, visit hopkinsmedicine.org/ebola and hopkins-cepar.org.

 

October 18, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to thank all of you at Johns Hopkins Medicine for your leadership and readiness as we prepare for the possibility of Ebola patients in our hospitals. Every team has worked tirelessly to screen patients while training in the use of the best personal protective equipment and the safest and most secure protocols.

Yesterday, Gabe Kelen, our director for Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), and Trish Perl, our senior epidemiologist, outlined our extensive institutional plans. Gabe will continue to lead overall JHM-wide readiness and communication, working with medical directors and senior epidemiologists from each of our entities. We also want to acknowledge the tireless work and efforts of all of the clinical and administrative leaders at our hospitals and sites.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital's vice president for medical affairs, Redonda Miller, along with director for hospital epidemiology and infection control, Lisa Maragakis, are leading Ebola preparation and communication at JHH, as are other senior leaders at their own hospitals and entities.

During this extraordinary time, many of our nationally renowned experts on infection control have been tapped for guidance and quoted by some of the leading media outlets in the nation. These include the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio and CBS News, to name a few. Gabe, Trish and Lisa have focused their comments on correcting misinformation about the virus and calming public fears.

Below, you will find the most recent CEPAR Ebola update along with references to educational and training material. We are proud of the service that our leaders and experts provide, ensuring that our patients, staff, faculty, physicians and trainees—along with the public—are as well informed and protected as possible.

Sincerely,

Paul B. Rothman, M.D.
Dean of the Medical Faculty
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Ronald R. Peterson
President
The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System
EVP, Johns Hopkins Medicine

 

October 17, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

As the Ebola situation continues to evolve, we will continue to update our faculty, staff, students and trainees on the steps Johns Hopkins Medicine is taking to prepare for your safety and the safety of our patients and visitors. Following our JHM-wide update from Sunday, Oct. 12, we initiated a series of newsletters on Ebola preparedness and have housed all of our communications and information about preparedness for Ebola on the Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) website.

There you will find:

  • Hopkins On Alert: Special Issues on Ebola
  • Ebola Patient Screening Tools
  • Guidance for Clinicians
  • Guidance for Johns Hopkins International
  • Travel Guidelines and Policies
  • Ebola Fact Sheets
  • Preparedness Checklist

We also have Ebola-related info, news releases and videos on our Johns Hopkins Medicine website for you and our communities.

Many experts across Johns Hopkins Medicine have been working on a multidisciplinary Ebola preparedness team to closely monitor developments, to update our plans as needed, and to ensure your safety along with the safety of our patients and visitors.

Here are the most recent Johns Hopkins Medicine updates and decisions related to Ebola:

  1. There currently are no patients with Ebola at any Johns Hopkins Medicine facility.
  2. Every JHM facility has emergency preparedness and response plans in place along with ample supplies of personal protective equipment. All JHM facilities and sites are training with a focus on care teams and emergency department personnel. All are screening patients for travel and symptoms, and all have identified designated space for isolating and stabilizing patients presenting with Ebola symptoms.
  3. Should a potential Ebola patient enter one of our sites, each location has plans to evacuate the patient on the spot or at their respective emergency department to determine whether infection with Ebola should be considered. Part of this evaluation calls for immediately contacting the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Centers for Disease Control to discuss evaluation of the patient.
  4. For a patient diagnosed with Ebola, the CDC will decide whether he or she can be treated at one of the national bio containment treatment facilities. If the CDC’s decision is to treat the patient on site, the main hospital for Ebola treatment within Johns Hopkins Medicine will be at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where care of the patient will be performed only on designated units and only by a specialized team of providers who have received extensive training with protective equipment and care procedures
  5. In addition to our own efforts to ensure patient and staff safety, the CDC has announced that they will deploy a team of experts within 12 hours to provide support and additional training to any hospital that receives a confirmed patient with Ebola.
  6. We anticipate revised guidance about personal protective equipment and training from the CDC in the coming days and will incorporate any new recommendations into our planning.
  7. We are communicating with the Maryland Hospital Association, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, CDC and our colleagues around the country and the world to express our views, exchange information and learn best practices.
  8. Travel guidance was updated and sent out broadly this week and is available as indicated above.
  9. Each of our sites and hospitals has started holding face-to-face town meetings to give specific updates to their employees with local Ebola preparedness details and answer questions staff members might have about safety measures. We will continue to update you frequently as we adapt our JHM-wide processes and preparedness efforts.

Sincerely,

Gabor D. Kelen, M.D.
Director, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response
Director, Department of Emergency Medicine
Emergency Physician-in-Chief, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Trish M. Perl, M.D., M.Sc.
Professor of Medicine and Pathology
Senior Epidemiologist, Johns Hopkins Medicine 

 

October 12, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

By now you have probably heard that a healthcare worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has acquired Ebola due to a breach in precautions. Though the exact details regarding how it occurred are still under investigation, we do know that contamination most commonly occurs when healthcare workers are removing personal protective equipment.

Currently there are no patients with Ebola at any Johns Hopkins Medicine facility. However, each JHM hospital is prepared and ready to give state-of-the-art care and to immediately implement safety measures should we have a case.

It is important to understand that at Johns Hopkins we have considerable expertise and experience in dealing with infection control and have developed standards, protocols and policies for the safest care and management of these patients based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Each hospital has identified designated units to care for these patients in order to minimize exposure and protect patients, visitors and staff members. We have reviewed and identified equipment to be used by healthcare workers and are currently involved in rigorous training for those in teams most likely to care for these patients and beginning training for other areas. We are also determining the most safe and effective processes to manage laboratory procedures and waste.

Please watch for periodic updates when we have new information to share. Be assured that we are actively monitoring the situation, assessing how we can best respond and updating our procedures to ensure we do our best to protect each of you and our patients and visitors.

Sincerely,

Gabe Kelen, MD
Director, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response
Director, Department of Emergency Medicine for The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Trish M. Perl, MD, MSc
Professor of Medicine and Pathology
Senior Epidemiologist