In response to the October 2014 Dallas Ebola crisis, NCTTRAC and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) applied for and received the Ebola Preparedness and Response Program (EPRP) contract. The program was to assist the North Central Texas Healthcare Coalition (HCC) with filling the gaps in pre-hospital and hospital readiness to respond to critical infectious disease incidents. The HPP has expanded its focus to include all High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID) and to decrease the risk of infections by ensuring organizations are better equipped, educated, and prepared to handle all HCID events in the 19 county TSA-E region. There are four primary entry points into the healthcare system for an HCID patient. The four methods are:
- Self-presentation to a hospital
- Self- presentation to a private provider or non-hospital clinic
- 9-1-1 for pre-hospital support
- Public Health request
In the event that your staff feels that a patient may have a serious infection that could potentially cause harm to others, they should immediately isolate the patient and contact their local public health department. In the TSA-E region, there are six county health departments.
- Collin County
- Dallas County
- Denton County
- Grayson County
- Tarrant County
- DSHS HSR 2/3*
*DSHS Health Service Region 2/3 is your health department resource if your county does not have one.
Your local health official can assist you with decisions, such as disease interpretation, to which hospital the patient should be sent, and if the Regional Ebola Transfer Ambulance (RETA) is warranted. The RETA is a fully wrapped ambulance used to transport HCID patient(s). ONLY public health authorities can activate the RETA. These public health officials will also communicate with jurisdictional partners for incident management. There are currently four RETA agencies. They are: