Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
Crawford County Memorial Hospital CFO Rachel Melby presented an end-of-the-month and end-of-the-fiscal-year report to hospital trustees at this Monday’s board meeting. The hospital ended the last fiscal year on June 30 with better numbers than might have been expected during the ongoing pandemic. Melby noted that some numbers were preliminary – and would be finalized after the hospital’s audit by Denman and Company of West Des Moines is complete. The company was at the hospital this week doing audit fieldwork, she said. Melby said the hospital had many challenges in the just-completed fiscal year, but the hospital adapted well. (Denison Bulletin Review)
Like many hospitals, MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, typically found itself in crisis mode when it came to staffing. It constantly was understaffed because of regional nursing shortages. In response, a culture of unit-level staff protection had developed, where units held back on sharing staff because of the uncertainty of unexpected changes. The organization often was forced to float core staff to meet patient care needs. All of these factors led to a high level of premium pay to ensure appropriate coverage. (Healthcare IT News)
Some Iowa care facilities have eased up a bit on visiting restrictions put in place because of the coronavirus outbreak, but it will be a while before they can again allow visitors to come and go freely, industry leaders say. The coronavirus pandemic is still too much of a threat to let that happen, they say. (Des Moines Register)
As soon as the first COVID-19 vaccines get approved, a staggering global need will confront limited supplies. Many health experts say it’s clear who should get the first shots: health care workers around the world, then people at a higher risk of severe disease, then those in areas where the disease is spreading rapidly, and finally, the rest of us. Such a strategy “saves the most lives and slows transmission the fastest,” says Christopher Elias, who heads the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Division. “It would be ludicrous if low-risk people in rich countries get the vaccine when health care workers in South Africa don’t,” adds Ellen ‘t Hoen, a Dutch lawyer and public health activist. (Science Magazine)
The increased need to manage costs and ensure operational efficiency has prompted hospitals and health systems to look closely at every area of the organization, including leadership and management. As a result, many organizations are refocusing their leadership structure and recruitment to try to offset financial damage from the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is broad variability in how this is being done. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
Telemedicine is having its moment. Over the last few months, millions of people have relied on video or telephone calls to talk to their doctors. But as the pandemic moves across the United States, and eventually recedes in some places, how long will the moment last? Although patients used virtual visits to avoid overcrowded and potentially infectious doctor’s offices or emergency rooms, many are returning to face-to-face appointments in cities where the threat has subsided. (The New York Times)