Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|October 11, 2022

Iowa news

MercyOne sites scheduling patient appointments via phone calls after national IT incident

All care locations in MercyOne Central Iowa’s region, including Des Moines, are continuing to take patient appointments even as the health system struggles with an unspecified IT security breach affecting its parent company, Chicago-based CommonSpirit. MercyOne Central Iowa officials said the hospital could not schedule patient appointments online because of the incident, but that patients could call to schedule an appointment at one of MercyOne’s clinics. This comes after the health system had to shut down some of its information technology systems, including its electronic health record system, and divert ambulances to nearby hospitals because of the security incident. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

MercyOne employee named ‘Hospital Hero’

The Iowa Hospital Association honored several MercyOne colleagues from across the state at its 2022 annual meeting held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center last week. Seven MercyOne colleagues statewide were recognized with Hospital Heroes awards, which comprises more than half of all Hospital Heroes named this year. Those honored included Kelly Richards, D.N.P., RN, MercyOne Northeast Iowa. (The Courier)

Eastern Iowa nursing home accused of locking resident out for 11 hours

A swift policy change that resulted in an unhappy resident could spell big trouble for an eastern Iowa nursing home. It all happened late one afternoon this summer and ended with the man, who was wheelchair-bound, being taken to the hospital just over an hour before sunrise. Wednesday, June 22, the administrator of the nursing home, who had just started his job that Monday, instituted a smoking ban on the entire property. Residents could still smoke, but only if they found a family member or friend to take them off the property to do it. (KDAT)

National news

CISOs weigh in on how their size affects their cyber strategy

Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health has been dealing with a large-scale IT security incident that has been shutting down electronic health records and canceling patient appointments at its hospitals nationwide. CommonSpirit is the nation’s second-largest nonprofit health system, with more than 140 hospitals and 1,000 care sites across 21 states. One cybersecurity expert called the incident “unprecedented.” Becker’s reached out to seven chief information security officers after the incident to ask how the size of their organization affects their cyber strategy. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

Nearly 900 flu patients hospitalized last week

For the week ending Oct. 1, 885 lab-confirmed flu patients were admitted to the hospital, according to the CDC’s latest FluView report. All data in the FluView report are preliminary and may change as more reports are received. The CDC’s state-by-state map of flu activity had not been updated for the week ending Oct. 1, making it unclear what flu activity level states reported. But the FluView shows no state reported very high flu activity, four jurisdictions reported high activity, three reported moderate activity, 11 reported low activity and remaining states reported minimal activity. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Why hospitals won’t keep universal masking around forever

Face masks have played a crucial role in reducing COVID-19 transmission in hospitals, but clinical and infection control experts are not convinced the pandemic has set a new precedent for widespread use of facial coverings in health care settings. Early in the pandemic, respirators and other facial coverings emerged as crucial and highly coveted supplies for health care workers to protect themselves and others. Now, more than two years into the pandemic, some health care organizations are relaxing mask rules and looking to a future where masking is more strategic, versus comprehensive. The CDC also updated its infection control guidelines, dropping its universal masking guideline for health care workers in areas where community transmission levels are not high. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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