As an academic medical institution, Penn Medicine stands ready to provide expert clinical care under a broad range of circumstances, keeping the safety and protection of our patients and staff as our top priority at all times. The likelihood of an outbreak of Ebola in this country is extremely remote, but we are nonetheless prepared for the possibility of any of our facilities receiving a patient who may have been exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has agreed to be among hospitals to care for U.S. medical workers who contract the virus while working in Africa, if needed. To date, we have no patients suspected of or confirmed to have the Ebola virus in our facilities. We are following the CDC's patient screening criteria for Ebola, including both travel history and symptoms that may be associated with the disease.
Media reports have mistakenly indicated that HUP is a regional referral center for Ebola patients. That is not true. While there is ongoing discussion at the state and city levels about regionalizing care for patients with Ebola, there are currently no public health plans to institute this model. Any suspected or confirmed Ebola patients received at Penn Medicine facilities would be transferred to HUP, which is prepared to isolate these patients in a Special Treatment Unit. This space is separate from other patient-care areas and has been designed to ensure both optimal medical care for Ebola patients and the safety of our staff and other patients.
Two phone lines have been established to assist clinicians and staff around the clock:
*Clinicians with patient-related questions should call 215-614-0524. A physician will answer and handle calls about screening, isolation and, if necessary, lead arrangements for patient transport to HUP from another entity.
*General questions not pertaining to direct patient care can be directed to 215-615-2929.
In tandem with ongoing training for staff who may care for a patient with Ebola, information is added daily to the UPHS Intranet site for Ebola preparedness, and clinical staff are encouraged to check this site regularly to stay abreast of updates: http://pennpoint.uphs.upenn.edu/sites/ebola/default.aspx