[Full disclosure: our team has a commercial partnership with Sermo. We are the primary providers of operational infectious disease forecasts and medical intelligence to 40% of America's practicing physicians.]
Over 3000 doctors joined the conversation, and 1,300 of our SERMO physicians participated in our poll and provided some eyebrow-raising opinions:
- When asked if they feel the Department of Homeland Security is adequately screening inbound passengers from Ebola-affected areas, 91% said "No."
- When asked if they believe the US Department of State is adequately sharing information regarding the Visa granting process and the specific location of where travelers are arriving from in West Africa, 90% answered "No."
- When asked if they believe the experience of Dallas will significantly alter our medical preparedness writ large in America, 56% responded "No."
In a prior poll focusing on preparedness and the logic of focusing on contact tracing (tracking down everyone a patient has had contact with), over 370 physicians spoke up:
- When asked how confident they are in the CDC's ability to effectively trace back contacts Ebola patients might have had with other people, 57% did not feel confident (37% said "not very confident" and another 20% said "not confident at all").
- When asked if they had been in conversation about preparedness protocols regarding Ebola, 32% said "no one" and 31% said they'd "self-educated to prepare."
- When asked where they are getting their guidance and reliable information regarding Ebola, 58% cited the CDC and 52% cited their peers on SERMO.
Given the number of participants in the poll and diversity of medical specialties represented, this is a difficult opinion to ignore. As we have indicated before, medical preparedness is different than public health preparedness. Given public health preparedness is predicated in large part on front line medical providers, we would be well advised to pause a moment and consider the input from these poll results.
The medical community is saying we are not prepared. It would be wise to listen to them.