RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC— In response to the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa and its implications for global organizations, RTI International has developed a framework to guide the development of Ebola-related policies and procedures for institutions and companies.
The framework, published in a policy brief by RTI Press, addresses broad issues related to travel, the worksite (in countries not directly involved in the Ebola outbreak) and communication. RTI is using this framework to create organizational policies and procedures to deal with Ebola issues, based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"As an international organization with employees and consultants traveling into, within and out of Africa every day, the fluid global Ebola situation confronts RTI daily with operational issues that have required the clarification or development of numerous policies and procedures," said Bradford Walters, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer at RTI and a co-author of the policy brief.
The framework walks institutions and companies through a series of categories with questions to consider when developing policies and procedures related to Ebola. The questions are designed to guide policy discussions around travel to and from areas of concern, such as criteria for whether travel is permitted and how to communicate with staff members and business associates.
The framework also encourages organizations to consider definitions of potential categories of risk exposure, and how travelers who have been exposed to Ebola will be permitted to work offsite or onsite.
"These are challenging times for global organizations," Walters said. "Our hope is that companies will find this framework useful in evaluating and revising policies as needed while providing a work environment viewed as safe by all employees."