As We Now Think

Reflections, commentary and analysis from Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University.

Ebola case shows importance of teamwork in healthcare

by Heather Ross

The White House’s announcement on Friday that it has Ebola “under control” is patently ridiculous. As we witnessed with the case in Dallas last week, and have been reminded by the failure of a properly deployed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) checklist, the system of Ebola transmission is so complex, with so many moving parts, that unless we control each individual’s behavior at every airplane, every hospital, every public place and every private home, there is no way to ensure ā€” or assure ā€” that a deadly virus with no available vaccine or cure is under control.

There is certainly value in quelling fear and panic. Indeed, that is a critical component of the strategy needed to combat any public health emergency and it is hard to fault the White House for attempting this maneuver. But government officials can certainly not guarantee that even the best protective programs in place will be properly executed at every level.

If the spread of Ebola to the United States impacts anything (besides highlighting the importance of developing drugs even without a promise of high profit margins), I hope that it will be the recognition of the critical importance of effective interdisciplinary teamwork. I hope that this recognition will promote a change in our typical programs for professional training in healthcare, and more broadly will promote a national culture of interdisciplinary.

Read complete article in The Hill.

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This entry was posted on October 6, 2014 by in Energy, Science Policy, Technology and Society, Technology Policy.

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