State Focuses On Ebola Education And Urgent Care Clinics


Tuesday, October 14th 2014, 10:36 pm
By: News 9


As preparations for Ebola continue across Oklahoma, health officials said the focus is on urgent care clinics.

So far, there are no confirmed cases of the virus here, but the state is being proactive.

The medical response team recognized urgent care clinics are just as vulnerable as a hospital to have an Ebola patient walk through its doors.

So the clinics need to be just as prepared.

"It's an evolving situation so it's a constant information flow," said Michael Murphy, Regional Medical Response Team Director.

With a desire to be ahead of that flow, the regional medical response team and its director Michael Murphy introduced posters to hang inside urgent care clinics around the state.

"We just want to make sure that any of those places that may see a patient initially, can do those interview questions and identify anyone who is potentially needing to be tested," said Murphy.

The questions encompass the images on the posters.

The posters show the three Ebola "hot zones" in Africa, the likely symptoms of the virus and the steps clinical staff should take in response to a patient showing those symptoms of Ebola.

"If need be, EMSA is totally prepared to go out to these centers and pick up a patient that needs to be taken for further testing," said Murphy.

10/9/2014 Related Story: EMSA Paramedics Prepared For Potential Ebola Patients

At the Today Clinic, Dr. Brett Cauthen already had his staff taking precautions and not just because of Ebola.

"We use events like this to remind our staff of the importance of these protocols to limit the transmission of any infectious agent," said Dr. Brett Cauthen with the Today Clinic.

However, if further testing is required, Dr. Cauthen's staff would put on protective equipment, then isolate the patient while waiting on EMSA to arrive.

"It's just continuing the public health mission that is ongoing," said Murphy.

The medical response team wanted to reassure that numerous patients have only been questioned for Ebola, and there have been no confirmed cases.

However, health officials said they are watching the situation in Dallas very closely.