The Frontier Airlines plane that Ebola parient Amber Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, taxies away from the terminal at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Cleveland. It landed in Denver last night.

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Colorado’s largest non-profit health plan, Kaiser Permanente, says it is stepping up both training and screening in the wake of concerns about the potential spread of Ebola in the United States.

Amy Duckro, an infectious disease physician, says Kaiser Colorado is implementing proactive steps to train frontline staff and healthcare teams and educating patients “It’s really a two-fold approach,” says Duckro.

Health care workers who handle phone calls or front desk clinic check-ins will ask patients if they’ve traveled to places with on-going transmission in the last 21 days, had contact with someone who is ill with Ebola or handled the remains of patient who died from Ebola, or if they have any symptoms consistent with people who have the disease.

Duckro says Kaiser is hoping “we can interrupt any potential exposure prior to the patient being in the clinic, preferentially, and if not, then limiting any potential exposure to our patients and our healthcare staff.”

Kaiser will also train hundreds of nurses, who are involved in direct patient care, by the end of next week in the proper use and disposal of personal protective gear, including masks, goggles, gowns and gloves. By next Thursday, up to 600 nurses are to be trained.

Duckro says Kaiser Colorado, and other health providers, are learning from the handling of the first Ebola transmission cases in the U.S. in Dallas.

“It could have really happened anywhere in the country. This situation has never occurred before,” says Duckro. “There are definitely some lessons that we’re using as a result of that, and …read more