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Family: Doctors don’t detect Ebola in nurse’s body

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Doctors no longer detect Ebola in a Texas nurse who flew to Ohio and back before she was diagnosed with the virus, her family said Wednesday.

Officials at Emory University Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention couldn’t detect Ebola in Amber Vinson as of Tuesday evening, her family said in a statement released through a media consultant.

Health officials say Vinson visited the Akron area Oct. 10-13 to prepare for her wedding and was diagnosed once she returned to Dallas.

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Hospital of Ebola patient posts poor ER benchmarks

“When wait times get longer, it creates an environment where people are more likely to make mistakes,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, a Harvard University professor and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

For the year ending March 31, patients in Presbyterian’s emergency department waited 44 minutes on average before their first contact with a health care professional, 50 percent longer than state and national waits.

Presbyterian — where former President George W. Bush underwent a heart procedure last year — exceeded seven national benchmarks for strokes, earned perfect scores on a number of surgical measures and met six of 10 criteria on heart attacks, according to its data.

Health safety consultant Michael Millenson, a visiting scholar at Northwestern University, says it’s laudable that Presbyterian addressed the problem, but added that federal standards are weak and it took years to do what should have taken weeks.

Texas Health Resources began posting detailed data online — from heart attack mortality rates to post-surgical infections — for each of its 17 hospitals this summer.

Two medical specialists reviewed hospital records detailing Duncan’s ER treatment for The Associated Press, which received the documents from his family.

Jha, who also serves on a federal commission studying ER mistakes, said 5 percent of all emergency room visits are misdiagnosed — “a very high error rate.”

Presbyterian’s ER doctors are private contractors who work with Texas Medicine Resources LLP, which has had the contract to provide them for 38 years, according to Dr. Ralph Baine, the president of Emergency Medicine Consultants, a related company that handles many administrative functions for the doctors.

Even under ordinary circumstances, he said, it’s a challenge to maintain coordination and flow of information in a system divided between health plans, hospitals and providers.

“If you have doctors who are not salaried and on staff, you’re less likely to hit public health benchmarks as you are about the business goals of that contract,” said Court, the group’s president.

Watson says Presbyterian wants to move forward: “We are determined to be an agent for change across the U.S. health care system by helping our peers benefit from our experience.”

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