Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 30, 2023

Iowa news

Iowa telehealth startup OpenLoop plans massive downtown Des Moines expansion

On the fourth floor of the Bank of America Building, workers sipped seltzers and dipped chips under a ceiling-high banana tree and a pink neon light. Many of the employees of Des Moines telehealth startup OpenLoop Health were meeting in person for the first time. The company, with growing revenues and venture capital infusions, has rapidly expanded over the last year, increasing its headcount to 175 from 25. If CEO Jon Lensing, M.D., can meet the goals he’s laid out, OpenLoop will evolve this year from buzzy tech startup to an important piece of the local economy. (Des Moines Register)

‘Uber for EMS,’ Isreali-modeled program will be tested in Iowa

Call it “Uber for EMS” – at least that’s what Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg calls it. An Iowa pilot program plans to give two EMS providers $50,000 each to use an app to notify nearby first responders to quickly respond to an emergency before an ambulance can arrive. Providers can now apply for the grant and must match it with $25,000 of their own money. Israeli group United Hatzalah reduced response times in Jerusalem and presented its model to the Iowa Association of Counties last summer. In Israel, the program pings an app of a first responder nearby to an emergency, and that person goes to help, riding a moped before an ambulance can arrive. (Business Record)

Iowa Cancer Consortium announces five-year plan to reduce cancer rates

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in Iowa. The Iowa Cancer Registry projects that 22,000 Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2023. A new comprehensive five-year cancer action plan from the Iowa Cancer Consortium seeks to reduce cancer rates. The plan covers 2023 to 2027 and looks at everything from health equity to cancer screenings to reduce cancer rates. The plan urges people to make sure they, and their loved ones, are up to date on their cancer screenings. (Iowa Cancer Consortium)

National news

Could medicines hurt a person’s memory?

Would you believe the medicine you might be taking may be causing memory issues? All medicines carry the potential for side effects, but health care providers work to balance the benefits while minimizing harmful adverse effects. One class of medicines, anticholinergic medicines, are used for allergy relief, mood stabilization, stomach and bladder issues and muscle relaxation. But this class of medicine is known to have short- and long-term side effects including confusion and memory loss. (Des Moines Register)

Health sector struggles financially in 2022, despite modest improvements in December

Last year was the worst financial year for hospitals and health systems since the start of the pandemic. Despite modest improvements for hospital bottom lines and increased provider productivity toward the end of the year, both sectors ended 2022 facing financial pressures. A competitive labor market and greater reliance on more expensive contract labor to meet staffing demands drove up hospital and provider expenses. These expense pressures are likely to continue in 2023. Physician practices saw increased volumes and productivity in Q4 as the pandemic fueled a fundamental shift in how patients choose to access their routine care, resulting in an increase in revenue in the last quarter of 2022. (Kaufman Hall)

Band-Aid solutions won’t bring nurses back to the bedside

Hospitals have leaned on wage increases and contract workers as short-term solutions to the nation’s nursing shortage, but these actions fail to address many of the issues that are spurring nurses to leave the bedside for roles with better hours and less stress. When it comes to bringing frustrated, disillusioned nurses back to the bedside, the solution is nothing less than a complete overhaul to the nurse’s workday, according to Richard Shannon, M.D., chief quality officer at Duke Health. He said hospital leaders should start with a review of their clinical care delivery system and placing an emphasis on allowing nurses to do what they do best: care for patients one on one. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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