HHS launches national Ebola center
Health & Human Services launched the National Ebola Training and Education Center this week to ensure that U.S. health care providers and facilities are prepared to safely identify, isolate, transport and treat patients with Ebola and other emerging threats.

The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and three academic institutions — Emory University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center. ASPR and the CDC will provide $12 million over the next five years for the schools to co-lead the effort.

“The National Ebola Training and Education Center contributes to our nation’s health security by developing and teaching evidence-based practices of experienced providers and health care institutions in caring for patients with Ebola and other serious infectious diseases,” said Nicole Lurie, M.D., HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response. “While this training starts with Ebola, it also will help the health care community deal with other serious infectious diseases in the future.”

Joint Commission releases documentation tool
The Joint Commission released a new document list and review tool for the Life Safety and Environment of Care standards. The tool is provided to accredited organizations for use in their continuous compliance and survey readiness efforts.  

Conference to focus on disaster recovery
Health & Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health will host a conference Aug. 10–11 in New York City on translating Hurricane Sandy research into practice. The conference will examine outcomes of research grants that examined long-term recovery of health systems and communities in areas hit hard by the 2012 storm and discuss next steps for implementing best practices into public health policy.

ASHRAE establishes legionellosis standard
New ASHRAE Standard 188 establishes minimum legionellosis risk-management requirements for building water systems and provides descriptions of environmental conditions that promote the growth of Legionella. ASHRAE states that the standard is essential for anyone involved in design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized building water systems and components.

FDA notifies of Class 1 recall
The Food and Drug Administration provided notification of a Class 1 recall of FLOW-I Anesthesia Systems by Maquet. The firm received 10 complaints where patient cassettes, which are the center of gas flow in the system, have come loose. This may cause anesthesia gas to leak and could prevent the ventilator from providing breathing support if not immediately corrected.

Study on U.S. Hospitals’ Ebola Preparedness
The Joint Commission and the Department of Health Services Research, in collaboration with researchers from Rhode Island Hospital and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, are conducting a study that will provide estimates of the costs and benefits of Ebola virus disease preparedness to hospitals. This study will assess that impact by surveying a nationally representative sample of hospitals.