Protecting healthcare workers from Ebola

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Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have developed a new online training programme to keep healthcare workers safe when treating patients with Ebola. The online software package has been created via the SmartState spin-off company, SimTunes, LLC, and trains healthcare workers using simulation in safe Ebola disease response.

The researchers said that their findings in a small cohort of MUSC healthcare workers have been promising. “This training programme takes information from multiple resources, including the CDC, the National Ebola Training and Education Center and the European Network for Infectious Diseases,” said Dr Lacey MenkinSmith, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at MUSC. “What makes the programme unique is that it combines all that information into one training programme that is widely distributable.”

The training package aims to reduce the number of critical errors and risky actions committed when treating an Ebola patient. The MUSC team plans to run the programme in other healthcare settings relevant to Ebola, including community hospitals, where Ebola patients might first be seen, or intermediary hospitals, which would care for them until they could be sent to a treatment centre like MUSC.

“Instituting this training at various universities and hospitals across the world will take time and adjustments” said Dr Jerry G. Reves, distinguished Professor and Emeritus Dean of the College of Medicine at MUSC. “However, this represents the beginning of a concrete way to ensure that healthcare workers are protected from Ebola with just-in-time training anywhere in the world.”