February 12, 2015

In response to the ongoing Ebola Crisis in West Africa, an esteemed panel of healthcare providers, government agencies and aid organizations gathered at “Digital Aid: Lessons Learned from the Ebola Crisis” on February 11 in Washington, D.C.

The distinguished panel that included White House Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain discussed lessons learned from the outbreak in an effort to advance tactics in the fields of infectious disease and disaster response.

Mark Smith, MD, chief innovation officer with MedStar Health, presented the HKS-developed exit room concept, initially presented at the October 2014 American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) conference “ED Talks.” The innovative concept promotes a unidirectional flow strategy with an exit room on the backside of the isolation room with clean to less clean flow processes until full doffing and decontamination is possible.  This scheme eliminates hazardous backtracking of contamination. 

“Such an exit room provides safe de-gowning, appropriate cleansing of the provider and containment/disposal of all contaminated materials,” said Mik Pietrzak, MD, director of HKS healthcare strategic initiatives. “In fact, through the Ebola experience, we are quickly learning that a comprehensive infectious disease isolation strategy must also address contamination that can occur with all types of infectious diseases. The exit room strategy eliminates backtracking because people or items would never return to the original entrance where other staff members could be contaminated.”  

Read more: An Improved Approach to Infection Control 

In addition to Klain and Smith, the panel included Jack Dangermond, founder and president, ESRI and a data analysis expert; Daniel Lucey, MD, MPH, adjunct professor of infectious diseases, Georgetown University Medical Center; Emira Woods, director of social impact, ThoughtWorks; and Donna Harris, founder and co-CEO, 1776. 

HKS is ranked among the top healthcare architectural firms in the world by Modern Healthcare and BD World Architecture. Operating from 26 offices worldwide, HKS focuses on innovative healthcare design, process and delivery. The firm’s award-winning healthcare architecture includes 2,000 unique projects representing 80,000 beds and 184 million square feet. HKS projects have garnered numerous awards and coverage in worldwide publications. The firm’s healthcare specialists are highly respected international speakers. For more information, contact Brian McFarlane at bmcfarlane@hksinc.com or Trish Martineck at tmartineck@hksinc.com.

Posted in Health, Research
Tagged ED design, ED infection control, exit room concept, infection control, Mik Pietrzak