Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|September 6, 2022

Iowa news

COVID-19 stays steady in Iowa

Changes in COVID-19 statistics in Iowa were minimal last week, maintaining a trajectory similar to the past few months, according to data released Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The number of people hospitalized in Iowa with COVID-19 increased by one last week, to 265. That’s relatively close to the center of a small range of hospitalizations reported each week for the past two months — since July 12, the state has averaged a total of 267 COVID-19 hospitalizations each week. (Des Moines Register)

MercyOne to switch from Cerner to Epic EHR

MercyOne health system will transition to Epic’s electronic health record to align with Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, which fully acquired the Clive, Iowa-based health system Sept. 1. MercyOne was founded in 1998 through a partnership between Catholic Health Initiatives, now Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, and Trinity. It operated as a joint venture until this year, when Trinity entered into an agreement with CommonSpirit to purchase all MercyOne facilities and assets. Trinity plans to transition MercyOne to its common platforms, including a single EHR. MercyOne uses Cerner but will switch to Epic, which Trinity rolled out to its hospitals over the last few years. (Becker’s Health IT)

Primary Health Care receives $50K clinical training grant from Aetna

Primary Health Care, a Des Moines-based nonprofit community health center that operates nine locations in central Iowa, has received a $50,000 donation from Aetna Medicaid Administrators. The donation will help support a leadership training program for Primary Health Care’s clinicians. The leadership training program will explore change management, population health and methods to incorporate process improvement and value-based concepts that drive financial stability, close health equity gaps and improve patient outcomes. Primary Health Care will hold two cohorts over the yearlong program focused on upskilling providers to be more effective in improving clinical quality. The donation is part of $225,000 in funding that Aetna is giving to six community health organizations in Iowa. (Business Record)

National news

What does ‘quiet quitting’ look like at hospitals?

The trend of “quiet quitting” refers to a phenomenon in which workers reduce their enthusiasm at work and stick to the minimum expectations of their role. Some professionals, including Generation Z workers, have embraced the concept as an increased form of work-life balance, and others see it as a lesser-version of quitting. Despite how someone interprets the idea, the concept is not new among the U.S. workforce or in health care. In health care, this phenomenon has only grown. An April Gallup poll found that 34% of U.S. employees were actively engaged at work in 2021, compared to only 32% this year. Health care professionals saw the largest dip in engagement, with their engagement scores dropping nine points year over year. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

They left hospitals in 2020 to become travel nurses. Now they’re ready to leave the profession altogether.

The short-lived travel nurse boom was a temporary fix for a long-term decline in the profession that predates the pandemic. According to a report from McKinsey and Company, the U.S. may see a shortage of up to 450,000 registered nurses within three years barring aggressive action by health care providers and the government to recruit new people. Nurses are quitting, and hospitals are struggling to field enough staff to cover shifts. (NBC News)

Health systems shrink executive teams as costs rise

Hospitals and health systems are facing financial challenges with many reporting rising expenses and significant investment losses this year, which is shaping up to be the worst year financially for hospitals and health systems since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals are reporting some of the worst margins since the pandemic began, and there isn’t federal relief aid available to offset the damage, according to a report by Kaufman Hall. What are hospitals and health systems doing to improve their financial positions? Identifying ways to boost revenue cycle performance, scaling back services and layoffs are a few ways health care organizations are addressing financial challenges. A few health systems are streamlining their executive teams to cut costs. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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