Health care provider

The trend in health care is to deliver quality care and control cost. Ebola threatens to shift that paradigm. Delivery of health care in the United States has been forced to evolve faster than most health care administrators would like. It is an epidemic no one wants in their hospital or community. Ebola ruins cost containment strategies and creates third world medicine in first world hospitals.

Brief history of Ebola Ebola was present in Central Africa for an unknown period with the first known outbreak occurring in 1976. As of 2010, the deadliest outbreak took 350 lives and spread throughout the city of 600 million people. Government officials sealed off the city and the epidemic finally relented and disappeared (Cunningham, 2011). Ebola is one of two members in an RNA family of viruses.

There are five species of Ebola virus. Ebola virus has been, until 2014, confined to Western Africa. Since the most recent outbreak began in May, the United States has increased aid to the affected countries and to international organizations reacting to the outbreak. Examples of some of the agencies include the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U. S.

Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department and the Department of Defense (DOD). Center for Disease Control has sent nearly 100 personnel to aid in the care and treatment of patients along with managing the logistics. USAID has committed millions of dollars to be spent on medical supplies, food, water and training for personnel (Ebola, 2014). Cost Containment Providing the best care available at a reasonable cost is the goal of most hospitals and their administrators.

Evidenced based practice and procedure aid in keeping costs down and insurance payers have adjusted what they cover by evidence based practices. In fact, many 3 payers want conservative therapy tried and failed prior to paying for more expensive, aggressive treatment. Ebola has changed how administrators think about cost. The majority of the cost with an Ebola patient revolves around personal protective equipment (PPE) rather than the cost of procedures and supplies for and used by the patient themselves. Anything used on a patient with Ebola must be discarded; this limits the equipment that may be taken in the room.

Third World Ebola in the United States has forced the hospitals to change the way the think and practice medicine. In this country, we practice medicine to save lives; doing everything we can, heroically to keep an individual alive with little regard for ourselves, the health care provider. When someone is in trouble, we run to them to see how we can help; CPR, trauma, gunshot wounds etc. Ebola mandates we protect the healthcare provider first or risk injury or possibly death. The patient will not receive first world medicine. Most centers who have trained to treat

Ebola patients agree there will be no breathing machines, no CPR, no surgical procedures; only supportive care. This is particularly unnerving for providers accustomed to doing everything for everyone whilst trying to save lives. Comfort, supportive care instead of intensive, heroics will require time to adjust. In addition, with the plans in place to protect health care providers and still provide quality care, there simply is not enough manpower to take care of large volumes of infected patients should the need arise. Globalization The World Health Organization (WHO) has had personnel available to provide support in the Ebola stricken areas of Africa since the latest outbreak began.

Volunteers go on mission trips to also provide assistance and other services. The change in thought process for globalization of care with Ebola is not just to provide aid, supplies and services but to contain the virus. This does not mean just treating patients in West African hospitals but helping those in more rural areas. 4 This will also ultimately have an adverse effect on these communities when the health care professionals begin to leave when the crisis abates (Shi & Singh, 2012).

Fear African families go into hiding rather than inform authorities they are ill. If they are discovered to have Ebola and a family member dies, they will not have the body returned to them for burial. This has a deep effect on their beliefs and values as a community. An increase in passable roads and means of travel creates ease of communicability for the virus. Fear also plays a part in the changes happening in the United States as a result of Ebola. Health care providers and administrators are stressed about possibility of Ebola patients coming to their facility.

Family members are stressed about their loved ones caring for or potentially caring for infected patients. The media has certainly played a part in potentiating the stress and fear felt by all Americans since the first case of Ebola made it across the Atlantic Ocean. I believe there were many administrators who claimed their facility was ready to accept patients in order to quell panic. Conclusion Overall, I believe Ebola has set into motion changes in health care delivery which are rapid and overwhelming.

I do not believe any health care administrator could have ever imagined the cost or preparation it would take to make facilities prepared for Ebola patients. The changes will have to evolve constantly since the virus is no longer contained to the African continent. Ultimately, it will mutate to become airborne. Employees are already asking questions about their health plans covering Ebola.

Ebola has forever changed the way we will deliver care in the United States. I have known since I was in middle school I wanted to be a nurse; that I wanted to take care of people. Ebola will make providers step back and make sure we are thinking about our safety first, something we are not used to doing when a patient needs help. 5 References Ebola. (2014).

Medical Laboratory Observer, 46(10), Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/1586045951? accountid=458 Cunningham, W. P. (2011). Ebola. Environmental Encyclopedia 4th edition, 1(), Retrieved from http://go. galegroup. com/ps/i. do? id=GALE %7CCX1918700451&v=2. 1&u=uphoenix&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&asid=5dade54e9618 d96f96eb4d35b2038e6a Shi, L. , & Singh, D. L. (2012). Delivering health care in America: A systems approach (5th ed. ). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning LLC. 1.

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