More than 50 organizations, including hospitals, are participating in an exercise today through Thursday to test the nation’s ability to move patients with highly infectious diseases to regional treatment facilities, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today. During the exercise, seven people acting as patients with Ebola symptoms will present at Woodlands (TX) Hospital, Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, Norman (OK) Regional Hospital, St. Alphonsus and St. Luke’s regional medical centers in Boise, ID. Health care workers at those facilities will ship samples to state laboratories for diagnostic testing and prepare to transport six patients by air to regional Ebola treatment centers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles; Emory University Hospital in Atlanta; Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA; and University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston; and a pediatric patient by ground to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus in Houston. On Friday, participants will gather to assess the exercise and share best practices. “A tremendous amount of coordination, synchronization and skill is needed to move patients with highly infectious diseases safely,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, M.D. “…This type of exercise helps ensure that everyone involved is ready for that level of complexity.” 

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