Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 9, 2022

Iowa news

MercyOne ‘virtual nurses’ visit patients via video in their hospital rooms

Many patients hospitalized at Des Moines’ MercyOne Medical Center are interacting with some of their nurses in an unusual way: on the TV screens in their rooms. The hospital is having veteran nurses work via video systems to shoulder some of the duties that normally are handled by nurses in patients’ rooms. The goal is to help stretch the nursing workforce and to let floor nurses concentrate on tasks that require hands-on care, organizers said. The “virtual nurse” system requires patient consent, but few patients decline it, hospital officials said. (Des Moines Register)

Western Iowa providers struggle to bring timely mental health care amid staffing shortage

Across western Iowa, mental health providers are struggling to find enough staff. It’s hurting many communities who were already facing significant barriers to treatment – like rural areas. In northwest Iowa, rural providers who were already struggling to recruit workers are now reaching a new level of urgency. Plains Area Mental Health is a community care center with 14 offices across the region. CEO Kim Kelleher describes the organization as northwest Iowa’s “safety net.” (Iowa Public Radio)

Steindler Orthopedic partnering with Mercy Iowa City on North Liberty ‘medical park’

Steindler Orthopedic Clinic unveiled a new formal partnership with Mercy Iowa City to collaborate on — among other things — developing a medical park on 36 acres of land in North Liberty. The announcement comes days before the State Health Facilities Council was supposed to consider a Steindler surgeon’s proposal to build a $19.2 million ambulatory surgery center on the North Liberty site — although consideration of that has been delayed because one of the council members can’t make the meeting. (The Gazette)


National news

Johnson and Johnson pauses production of its COVID-19 vaccine despite persistent need

Johnson and Johnson’s easy-to-deliver COVID-19 shot is the vaccine of choice for much of the developing world. Yet the American company, which has already fallen far behind on its deliveries to poorer countries, late last year quietly shut down the only plant making usable batches of the vaccine, according to people familiar with the decision. The facility, in the Dutch city of Leiden, has instead been making an experimental but potentially more profitable vaccine to protect against an unrelated virus. (The New York Times)

You’re more likely to die from COVID-19 in the U.S. than other high income countries amid omicron

Although the omicron variant of the coronavirus is less likely to cause severe disease compared to previously dominating strains, the U.S. is still experiencing more COVID-19 death than at almost any other point in the pandemic. The country surpassed 900,000 deaths over the weekend and may reach a million by April, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data, with about 2,400 deaths reported each day. (USA Today)

Will one-way masking stop Covid spread? Here’s what experts say.

California, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon and other states are rethinking mask mandates for public spaces and schools, as many Americans say they are tired of masking indoors. Masking was once considered an essential tool to prevent the spread of Covid to others, but pandemic strategies have shifted as more vaccines and treatments have become available and the country has begun moving toward a “new normal.” Though most health experts agree universal masking, along with vaccinations, remains the best public health strategy against the spread of the virus, people can still benefit from wearing a mask even if no one else around them is. (NBC News)

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