HHS coordinates patient-movement crisis drill

Leaders from the National Ebola Training & Education Center participated in the largest patient movement exercise in the history of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The nationwide exercise was coordinated April 10-12 by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and involved more than 50 organizations.

“Saving lives during crises requires preparation and training,” explained HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, M.D. “A tremendous amount of coordination, synchronization, and skill is needed to move patients with highly infectious diseases safely. We have to protect the patients and the healthcare workers caring for those patients. This type of exercise helps ensure that everyone involved is ready for that level of complexity.”

HHS and the Department of State previously collaborated on exercises to move Americans acting as Ebola patients from West African countries to Ebola treatment centers in the United States. In public health emergencies or disasters, the U.S. government orchestrates the return of Americans to the United States, including Americans who are sick or injured.

NETEC works to increase the capability of United States public health and health care systems to safely and effectively manage individuals with suspected and confirmed special pathogens. The organization’s goal is to provide a comprehensive assessment, educational and training tool for health care systems throughout the United States.