SAN MARCOS, TEXAS
– In light of the recent Texas Ebola cases, officials and staff at Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) are taking critical steps to prepare for the situation reaching the local community.
“We began planning our organization’s response well before we had cases in the United States,” said CTMC CEO/President Sam Huenergardt. “Our goal remains to rapidly screen, evaluate and identify any possible Ebola cases and transfer these cases to a tertiary care center for treatment.”
Although CTMC won’t be a treating facility for Ebola, an arrangement has been made with St. David’s Healthcare in Austin, which confirmed it would accept possible Ebola patients who are transported from CTMC.
“As a 178-bed community hospital, caring for one Ebola patient could drain the resources we need to care for our community in our normal course of business,” Huenergardt said. “We have made arrangements to transport these patients to a care center best suited for them while preserving our commitment to the local community.”
The hospital is currently re-educating its nursing and clinical staff on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and has increased its PPE supplies on all patient care units. In addition, CTMC leadership has maintained continual communication with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the local health department epidemiologist to remain current on situational awareness.
At this time, CTMC is largely focusing its prevention efforts on the points of entry at the hospital and its Live Oak Health Partners locations, including the Live Oak Health Partners Community Clinic. If a patient exhibits symptoms of the disease paired with fever, they will be screened on their recent travel history or known exposure to the disease during the triage process. If a patient is an Ebola risk, they will be isolated and transported to a tertiary care center.
In addition, Adventist Health System (AHS), CTMC’s parent company, has added new functionality to its electronic medical record system to capture travel history and disease risk factors on emergency department triage and all admission data forms. If the information matches certain criteria, an alert will appear to anyone who opens the patient record.
“This standardized documentation across the system will be helpful for all communicable diseases and in any kind of outbreak,” said CTMC Chief Nursing Officer Lana Cameron. “It also gives us a venue to capture this information earlier in the process so that appropriate infection prevention measures can be taken immediately.”
For more information about Ebola Disease exposure, please visit www.cdc.gov/ebola
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 600 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families.
In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. CTMC also added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011 and became an accredited Primary Stroke Center in 2013. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.
CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, Adventist Health System is a national leader in quality, safety and patient satisfaction. Today, Adventist Health System supports 45 campuses in 10 states and employs nearly 70,000 individuals. Adventist Health System hospitals are comprised of more nearly 8,300 licensed beds, providing care for 4.5 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient