Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|August 12, 2022

Iowa news

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations relatively steady in Iowa as state fair begins

The pace of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa remained steady over the past week, according to data released by the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The number of new reported COVID-19 cases in the state was down slightly, and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was up slightly. The latest data update comes as the Iowa State Fair begins in Des Moines. If attendance figures match last year’s fair, it’s expected to bring more than 1 million visitors, or roughly 100,000 fairgoers per day, to Des Moines. (Des Moines Register)

Weitz Co. executive prioritizes mental health as chair of Heart Challenge

Mike Tousley, executive vice president and general manager of the Weitz Co.’s Iowa Business Unit, plans to make mental health and well-being the focus of his time as chairperson of the 2022-23 Heart Challenge, sponsored by the American Heart Association. The Heart Challenge is a set of initiatives designed to help companies positively influence employee health and well-being. The Heart Challenge campaign includes CycleNation, a high-energy stationary cycling event scheduled Oct. 6, at the Ankeny Town Square, and Heart Walk, a 1-mile or 3-mile group walk to boost physical and mental health, scheduled May 6 at the Iowa Capitol. (Business Record)

Polk County begins monkeypox vaccinations

The Polk County Health Department is offering monkeypox vaccines to eligible adults at the highest risk for infection, with plans to open more appointments as doses become available. The county had a little less than 400 doses available. Iowa has 13 confirmed cases, largely concentrated in central Iowa. (Des Moines Register)

National news

Hospitals’ uncomfortably high tolerance for errors

Learning from mistakes generally is considered the upside to failure. But in health care, where staff members regularly face stressors and systemic issues that impede a strong culture of safety, creating that standard can be difficult. In the more than 20 years since the Institute of Medicine released its landmark 1999 report “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” the health care industry has failed to make significant progress on eliminating preventable medical errors, which contribute to more than 250,000 deaths annually. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Diabetes screening rules miss disease in many people of color

An eye-opening study quantifies diabetes risk in minority groups to determine if screening recommendations are equitable. They are not. The current standard was released in 2021 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issues evidence-based guidance on disease prevention. The recommendation is to test people ages 35-70 for diabetes if they are overweight or obese, defined as having a body mass index of 25 kg/m2 or more. The study looked at the lowest-risk people eligible for screening: 35-year-olds barely overweight (with a BMI of 25). In this cohort, about 1.4% of white Americans have blood glucose levels in the diabetic range. The researchers were shocked to find that the rate was about double for Hispanics and even higher among Black and Asian Americans. (Scientific American)

As Biden signs CHIPS Act, CIOs debate whether it will help hospitals

On Aug. 9, President Joe Biden signed into law the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act, which provides $52 billion to boost the U.S. semiconductor sector. The global chip shortage has affected a variety of industries over the past two-plus years, including health care. But how exactly has the dearth of semiconductors affected hospitals and health systems? And do chief information officers believe the new law will provide some relief? (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

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