NewsStand, Oct. 26, 2023

NewsStand, Oct. 26, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|October 25, 2023

Iowa news

Pharmacies declining in Iowa, Drake University study finds

Drake University research has documented what many have known to be true, but some denied: Iowa’s network of community pharmacies has been shrinking for more than a decade. The study tracked open pharmacies in the state between 2008 and 2022. It found the number of pharmacies decreased by more than 10%, with the largest losses coming among independent businesses rather than chains or franchises. Closures have been more common in rural than urban areas, but every Iowan could feel their impact if actions aren’t taken to help pharmacies handle high costs of operation. (Des Moines Register)

Farm-based activities can support mental wellness. Why aren’t there more care farms in the U.S.?

Care farms are agricultural places for people with physical or mental health challenges to process their emotions, while performing farming tasks and working with animals. Participants can receive formal or informal care to address things like anxiety, depression and grief. It’s a popular concept in Europe that hasn’t gained as much traction in the U.S. yet. The Netherlands is home to more than 1,300 care farms while the U.S. only has around 200, with only one in Iowa. Care farm networks have been crucial because they allow care farms to share input and learn from one another. (Iowa Public Radio)

Iowa may alter medical license questions about drug use, mental health

Iowa’s top medical officials are exploring changes to its licensing process that advocates say could encourage more physicians to seek treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. The Iowa Board of Medicine is reviewing its licensing applications for physicians, making Iowa one of a nearly dozen states working to determine whether the questions asked may stigmatize those seeking treatment, according to the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, a group that advocates for greater mental health support for health care workers. (Des Moines Register)

National news

HHS provides telehealth privacy and security tips for patients

Using video apps and other technologies for telehealth can create risks to the privacy and security of health information. This can include accessing telehealth services on a website, through an app or even through a patient portal. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created tips for patients to consider to protect and secure their health information. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Amazon Pharmacy rolls out drone delivery service in Texas

Amazon Pharmacy has launched free drone delivery for prescription medicines in 60 minutes or less for eligible customers in College Station, Texas. Over 500 medicines for common conditions are available by drone delivery, including flu, asthma and pneumonia. After an order is placed, a pharmacist will load the medicine into a Prime Air drone and ensure delivery to a customer’s front door within an hour. Eligible customers in College Station will see free drone delivery in less than 60 minutes at the time of checkout. (Mobile Health News)

2023 State of Healthcare Performance Improvement Report: Signs of stabilization emerge

Hospitals and health systems are seeing some signs of stabilization in 2023 following an extremely difficult year in 2022. But workforce-related challenges persist, keeping costs high and contributing to issues with patient access to care. This year’s Kaufman Hall State of Healthcare Performance Improvement Report highlights performance improvement trends in the areas of workforce, volume and revenue, supplies and purchased services, physician enterprise and the balance sheet. Each section also provides action items that can enhance both short-term and long-term performance. (Kaufman Hall)

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