Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
UIHC telehealth program freeing up hospital beds
A program started by the University of Iowa Health Care is freeing up hospital beds. When the pandemic started in March, UIHC formed its Home Treatment Team. Telehealth for COVID-19 patients with underlying health conditions. Patients track their vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and blood oxygen) daily and receive “virtual” visits via phone or video from the providers to check on their progress. Close monitoring means patients who need extra help can get to the hospital or emergency room. (KGAN)
Iowa behavioral health facility expecting possible increase of anxiety, fear this holiday season due to pandemic
Although staff at Eagle View Behavioral Health aren’t treating COVID-19 patients, they’re still facing the effects of the pandemic. “I think we’ll see a wide gamut of responses by individuals from the pandemic,” CEO Ross Teemant says. Teemant says since their opening in June, there’s been a consistent flow in and out of the 72 bed facility. (WQAD)
Iowa’s public health department turns to technology to improve maternal and child health
Social determinants of health is now a popular concept as health systems nationwide have rolled out initiatives. But it’s not always clear if organizations are putting real resources behind these efforts are just paying lip service to the idea. Iowa offers a lesson on how to make an impact in underserved communities. The Iowa Department of Public Health has made significant headway in improving health outcomes and access to care for Iowa mothers and their children by integrating social care with medical services. Over two years, the state’s Maternal and Child Health Title V Program has increased the percentage of women receiving a regular source of obstetrical care from 67% to 97%. (FierceHealthcare)
How nine governors are handling the next coronavirus wave
President Donald Trump hasn’t been leading on the coronavirus, and governors are again in charge of the nation’s response. They’re reacting with a patchwork policy that’s unlikely to head off the long-warned “dark winter” in America. Governors are balancing rising case numbers and pressure to keep schools, restaurants and bars at least partially open. They’re employing loosely defined “curfews” on all but essential workers, admonishments over holding Thanksgiving dinners and reductions in capacity limits on indoor spaces — and a growing number of Republicans are mandating masks. (Politico)
COVID-19 antibody treatments may keep patients out of the hospital. Who should get the doses first?
The two authorized COVID-19 antibody treatments that may help keep high-risk patients out of the hospital are in such short supply that doctors are facing a daunting question as cases surge in the US. Which patients should be first in line? The antibody treatments must be given shortly after a patient tests positive, before severe symptoms begin. The hourlong IV infusions are considered to be among the more-promising treatments for the disease. (NBC News)
Telehealth may worsen digital divide for people with disabilities
Much has been made of telehealth’s potential to bridge the accessibility gap for those who may be otherwise underserved by the healthcare systems. But experts said in a new paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association this past week, telehealth may also exacerbate inequities faced by the disability community. “There remains a pressing need to explicitly consider how changes in the prevalence and ubiquity of telehealth impact people with disabilities,” wrote the authors. (Healthcare IT News)