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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has been largely criticized for its role in treating the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the U.S. But despite the criticism, their message is simple: “Thank You”.
In a video released Friday, the hospital expressed its gratitude for the loyal customers and patients who stuck by them. They are also grateful for the many lessons they learned — which the now hope to share.
The hospital has made a series of improvements aimed at helping better prepare physicians and other medical professionals to address infectious diseases.
“As the first hospital to diagnose and treat Ebola on U.S. soil, we know we have seen and experienced what no other hospital has,” said Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources. “We know that sharing our expertise may help to save lives, and we are eager to help hospitals learn.”
The initial insights and lessons learned include:
· Upgraded medical record software to clearly highlight travel risks – Medical record software at Texas Health Dallas now includes a robust screening tool specifically asking where a patient has recently travelled and highlights that information in a large, red box at the top of the medical record.
· New triage procedures initiated to quickly identify at-risk patients – Generally, within five minutes of entry, patients will be asked about travel history and the patient’s chief complaint.
· A triage procedure to move high-risk patients immediately from Emergency Department – High-risk patients will be taken to an isolation unit by a nurse in full protective gear – gloves, gown, shoe covers, face mask and face shield – or immediately taken to a hospital with an isolation unit.
· A final step for cleared patients – Thirty minutes prior to discharge, vital signs will be rechecked. If anything is abnormal, the physician will be notified.
· Increased emphasis on face-to-face communication – Nurses and doctors will increase face-to-face exchange of information so that they do not solely rely on electronic medical records.
Thomas Duncan, the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the U.S., was admitted to Presbyterian after traveling from Liberia. He died on Oct. 8.
Nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson contracted the virus while treating Duncan. Both patients have now been declared Ebola free.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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