Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital issued a press release on Friday, outlining protocols for the possibility of receiving a patient with Ebola, or another serious infectious disease.

Providence Health & Services is prepared with infectious disease protocols and for the possibility of managing both suspected and confirmed Ebola patients.Providence is reviewing and increasing efforts to ensure high quality care and safety for our patients and caregivers (all employees).

Out of an abundance of caution, we are increasing the use and practice of screening measures to identify potential cases of infectious disease. The early identification of potential Ebola patients and isolating them is key to limiting exposures in the hospital and other clinical environments.

Currently, Providence preparations include isolating any suspected, rule-out or confirmed Ebola cases to critical care rooms or units with staff dedicated to treating the patient. Training will ensure our staff is proficient in using personal protective equipment.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is expected to continue over the next few months. The U.S.government agencies, the CDC and Providence will monitor and respond to any changes in the situation. Currently experts at the CDC do not believe that Ebola poses a substantial risk to the U.S. general population. We also need to keep the risk of Ebola in perspective in relation to other illnesses, including influenza, and direct appropriate attention to all of our public health concerns.