Another round of the Ebola virus may have made its way to the United States. Kaiser Permanente, of Sacramento Medical Center has reportedly admitted and quarantined a patient suspected of having the disease. The patient, as told by CNN, is housed in the “specially equipped negative pressure room,” and now awaits the results of samples sent to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It may take several days for the tests to reveal whether or not the patient was exposed to this disease.
For the Sacramento community and family members of patients in the hospital, possible Ebola exposure is very frightening. Until the story broke yesterday, patients and families of the medical center were unaware that virus may have hit the west coast.
Debate now lingers of whether or not the hospital should have advised patients and family members. Did they have a right to know?
These are real concerns, as the Ebola disease has a case fatality rate of up to 90% and, and in 2014, has been the cause of death for over 1,200 civilians of West Africa.
If it does turn out to be the Ebola virus, will Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento be able to contain it?
Definitive Healthcare, the leading provider of intelligence on hospitals and healthcare providers, tracks Hospital-Associated Infection Measures (updated July 2014) via data from CMS. This data may provide insight to Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento’s capacity to handle this virus. Ebola doesn’t spread through airborne or waterborne methods, but rather through contact with organs and bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, urine, and other secretions of infected people.
Two important infection measures that could provide insight are clostridium difficle (C.diff), an intestinal infection, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), a blood infection.
Definitive Healthcare’s data reveals that that Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento scored .48 for C.diff. With a national score of 1.00 Kaiser Permanente ranks in the 48th percentile, out of a potential 99.
Then for MRSA, Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento scored 1.29 out of a 1.00 national average, placing them in the 27th percentile.
The United States is currently treating two other cases of Ebola, both at Emory University Hospital. Upon these patients’ arrival to Emory University Hospital’s intensive care unit, Definitive Healthcare also reported infection measures for that facility.
Comparing the two scores, Kaiser Permanente ranked in a higher percentile for C.diff., respectively, but in a lower percentile for MRSA.
With no FDA-approved treatment, Emory University Hospital is using a method called “supportive care,” to treat the two infected patients. This type of care includes carefully tracking a patient’s symptoms, vital signs, and organ function.
Should the patient at Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento be found with the Ebola virus, it is imperative that the hospital and infection team, led by Florece Mayono, Infection Prevention Director, contain the disease and ensure it does not spread further into the United States.
About Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento Medical Center
According to the Definitive Healthcare's hospital database, Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento Medical Center is approximately a 440 bed short term acute care hospital. It is a part of the Kaiser Permanente Health Foundation network and is a voluntary nonprofit organization with Net Medicare Revenues of over 11 million.