Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|June 3, 2022

Iowa news

Hospitalizations up, new cases steady in weekly COVID-19 data update

COVID-19 hospitalizations were on the rise again in Iowa during the past week even as the number of new cases held steady from the previous two weeks, according to data released by the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There were 180 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iowa, the health and human services department reported. That’s nearly a 30% increase over last week and the most since the first week of March. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa universities, facing mental health woes, look at social media ills

Iowa’s public universities are facing a surge in mental health needs — like other campuses nationally following the COVID-19 pandemic — and they’re looking at social media as contributing to the problem. Corroborating national studies, University of Iowa counselors — through discussions with students — have found social media sites have exacerbated stress, depression and body image issues. (Rome News-Tribune)

Telehealth: What’s changed and what’s next?

After the initial scaling of telehealth technology and investment in tools and education for providers and patients, local health care organizations have spent the last two years adapting, evaluating and determining their approach to the modality. MercyOne went from offering telehealth as an option for primary care and a few specialties to now having it available for more than 70 of its specialties. The health system has incorporated additional digital services like remote patient monitoring to identify changes in conditions as well as tools for virtual diagnostic testing and a new platform that matches patients with a compatible provider. (Business Record)

National news

How AT&T, Google and Apple are shaping the future of 911

Efforts by cellphone carriers, big tech companies and the federal government to modernize the U.S. emergency response system are underway. AT&T is launching improved cellphone location tracking to route to 911 more quickly, technology called Next Generation 911 allows callers to send images and texts, and wearable technologies like Apple Watches could be enabled to share health data with first responders. Updates to the system are needed, but some are noting how much more data could be collected about 911 callers and the potential risks. (Recode)

The health care cloud race heats up

Amazon, Google and Microsoft are competing for health care cloud market share as large and small health systems nationwide are eager to join the cloud. Amazon Web Services held 40% of the health care cloud market in 2020, according to ResearchandMarkets, and announced high-profile deals in May with Tufts Medicine and Geisinger. Tufts moved its Epic EHR infrastructure, including 3 million health accounts, to Amazon Web Services in 71 hours and created a digital ecosystem. Amazon now powers the health system’s telehealth and virtual care services, and Tufts expects to save $2 million to $5 million annually from the move. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

Lawsuits still piling up over hospital vaccine mandates

As more hospitals and health systems mandated COVID-19 vaccination for their employees, lawsuits arose related to the policies. Houston Methodist was the first large, integrated health system in the U.S. to implement a mandate, in spring 2021. In June of that year, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by more than 100 Houston Methodist employees, marking the first decision by a court about such a requirement at a health system. The lawsuit, filed May 28, 2021, argued the mandate is illegal and forces workers to get an experimental vaccine to keep their jobs. But U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled June 12 that Houston Methodist did not violate state or federal law or public policy with its requirement. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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