October 31, 2014
Volume 57, Issue 44


Wisconsin Hospitals Continue to Prepare Staff to Identify, Isolate and Provide Initial Treatment to Suspected or Confirmed Cases of Ebola

WHA commends three health systems for stepping forward


While the likelihood of an Ebola case in Wisconsin remains low, hospitals across the state are actively drilling, reviewing infection-related protocols and training on the newest standards for personal protective equipment to ensure they are prepared for the possibility of an Ebola case in Wisconsin. The safety of patients, health care workers and the community is at the forefront of all their planning and response efforts.


On October 28, three health systems—Froedtert Health, UW Hospitals and Clinics, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin—stepped forward to accept the critical role in providing treatment to Ebola patients, if the situation presents anywhere in the state.


“WHA commends these three exemplary health systems for assuming this important role and in ensuring that if Wisconsin has a confirmed case, the patient will receive the crucial care they need to fight this terrible disease,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President Steve Brenton. “The designation of these three hospitals for treatment is just one piece of an overall, statewide coordinated strategy that will ensure Wisconsin health care systems, state health department and federal agencies involved in the Ebola response are standing ready to serve the people of Wisconsin.”


WHA and its member hospitals and health systems are working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health, Division of Public Health in following the Centers for Disease Control guidance concerning Ebola.


WHA is in frequent contact with the hospital preparedness staff at the Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS) and with Public Health Officer Karen McKeown to ensure critical communications reach the administration and caregivers at Wisconsin hospitals so they are able to continue to advance and refine their Ebola preparedness efforts.


Individuals who are concerned about their health should call their health care provider or call 1-844-684-1064, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients will be transferred to designated hospitals only after approval from DHS.


The next weekly webcast for Wisconsin’s Ebola response will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 2:00pm. A link for this webcast and previous webcasts can be found at: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/diseasepages/ebolawebcasts.htm.


WHA updates its Ebola webpage continuously, including weekends and after hours. Check it frequently for general information and guidance documents (www.wha.org/ebola.aspx) and webcasts (www.wha.org/ebola-webcasts.aspx). Due to the volume of press articles on this topic, WHA has organized news clips into a PDF available at www.wha.org/pdf/NewsStoriesEbola.pdf.


Any questions related to Ebola can be directed to Mary Kay Grasmick, WHA, 608-274-1820, 608-575-7516 or mgrasmick@wha.org or to Andrew Brenton, WHA, at abrenton@wha.org or 608-274-1820.

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FDA Approves Rapid Ebola Test for Hospital Laboratories


The Food and Drug Administration this week authorized emergency use of a rapid test for Ebola virus by hospital laboratories certified to perform moderate or high complexity tests under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988. The emergency use authorization allows such hospitals to conduct the test in-house, without having to send the sample to an outside lab. The test is for detecting the virus in individuals with Ebola signs and symptoms in conjunction with epidemiological risk factors. It produces results in about one hour, according to FDA. For more on the BioFire Defense FilmArray Biothreat-E test, go to www.fda.gov/EmergencyPreparedness/Counterterrorism/MedicalCountermeasures/MCMLegalRegulatoryandPolicyFramework/ucm182568.htm#ebola.  


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Political Action Fundraising Campaign Approaching Goal

Just $20,000 Needed to Reach Record Goal


With the goal in sight, the 2014 Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit and State PAC Fundraising Campaign has raised $245,000 from 327 participants since the campaign launch in May. That total accounts for 92 percent of the goal to raise $265,000 by the end of the year.


With just days until the November 4 election, contribution and disbursement activity continues given the intensity and competitiveness of the races around the state. The Wisconsin Hospitals Conduit and State PAC have already surpassed previous year totals for most disbursements in a single year.


Thank you to all 327 individuals listed below, including the 68 members of the Platinum Club. The next publication of the contributor list will be in the November 14 edition of The Valued Voice. For more information, contact Jodi Bloch at 608-217-9508 or Jenny Boese at 608-274-1820.  


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WHA Health Law Manuals Webinar Series Attracts Over 1,000 Participants


WHA concluded its nine-part webinar series showcasing the 2013 WHA Health Law Manuals, which were updated from their original 2005 publication date and republished last year. The webinar series was hugely popular, with over 1,000 registrants participating over the summer through fall this year. The webinars, along with the manuals themselves, were available exclusively to WHA members.


The manuals provide WHA members a concise and centralized resource for state and federal health law issues. Titles of the individual manuals are: Consent; Deaths and Donation of Blood, Organs & Tissue; Managing Health Information; Medical Staff, Labor & Employment; Mental Health Issues; Patient Discharge & Transfer; Patients’ Rights, IRB, HIV & Other Miscellaneous Issues; Record Retention; Reproduction; Signs & Postings in Hospitals; and Special Issues Facing Tax-Exempts.


WHA partnered with several law firms to bring its members the updated manuals and the webinar series: Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, von Briesen & Roper, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek. WHA acknowledges these firms for their excellent work and for offering WHA members these valuable educational opportunities.


The manuals are available for WHA members to view and download at www.wha.org/healthLawManual.aspx. WHA members who would like to access the manuals should contact webmaster@wha.org to request a username and password. If you missed any of the webinars, you may contact Andrew Brenton, WHA assistant general counsel, at abrenton@wha.org for copies of the PowerPoint presentations associated with each webinar.  


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Webinar Examines Effect of ICD-10 on Data Analytics and Reporting


On December 4, WHA is offering a complimentary webinar intended to help health care providers develop an understanding of the far-reaching scope of ICD-10 implementation on data analytics and reporting.


This free webinar, “ICD-10 Intersects Data Analytics: Evaluating the Impact on Financials, Quality Metrics and Other Reporting,“ will be presented by Debbie Rickelman, vice president and privacy officer for WHA Information Center. She will discuss the projected impact of the ICD-10 implementation on financial performance, quality metrics, public health reporting, research and state data reporting within and outside an organization. Rickelman will also highlight some strategies to assess impact and provide examples where changes occur.


Full information on this free webinar, along with online registration, can be found at http://events.SignUp4.net/ICD-10DataAnalytics.  


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WHA Physician Leadership Development Conference

The American Club, Kohler *** March 13-14, 2015


Early Bird Registration: Register by January 15 to qualify

More information and online registration can be found at: http://events.SignUp4.net/15PLD


Need Hotel Reservations? Contact The American Club at 800-344-2838 ASAP.  


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Member News: Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System to Merge


Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System announced they are merging to create a multi-regional health system comprised of five hospitals, more than 550 physicians, and 80 outpatient clinics and other service sites in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The Boards of Directors of the two organizations approved the creation of the new, as yet unnamed health system on October 23. The new system will continue to operate as a not-for-profit organization with a charitable mission to provide excellent medical care close to home.


“Rockford Health System is an exceptional health care provider with an outstanding group of well-respected specialists, sub-specialists and primary care providers with a mission, vision and values that mirror our own,” said Mercy Health System President/CEO Javon R. Bea. “By thoughtfully aligning our organizations, Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System will create a regional system that honors our existing legacies while strengthening both systems for the future.”


Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System will both maintain their respective names.  


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