NewsStand, Nov. 2, 2023

NewsStand, Nov. 2, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|November 1, 2023

Iowa news

Rural health association partners with Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

The Iowa Rural Health Association is partnering with Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for enhanced management services. Under the collaboration, the college will provide management services to IRHA to enhance rural health care in Iowa and expand IRHA’s capacity to effectively serve rural communities. Students from Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences can participate in planning sessions and administrative activities while interacting with IRHA members and partners. (Business Record)

Iowa health system warns against using ChatGPT to draft patient letters

University of Iowa Health Care is warning employees against the use of ChatGPT for its potential to violate privacy laws. The health system said the artificial intelligence chatbot is not HIPAA-compliant. To be used, tools like it must undergo a “proper security review, contracting and business associate agreement … for example, using ChatGPT to draft a patient letter or using an unapproved AI transcription service requires sharing of patient health information with the application. Beware of these situations.” (Becker’s Health IT)

Iowa Ideas: Staffing shortages, flat funding impacting patient care

Health care leaders nationwide have been grappling with staffing shortages for years, fueled by low wages and lack of prestige in some positions. The COVID-19 pandemic brought retirements and new staffing models, some of which haven’t been conducive to employee retention. Recognizing this challenge, the first health care session of the Iowa Ideas virtual conference examined creative staffing solutions, such as recruiting internationally trained staff, using technology to ease workforce pressures and tweaking educational requirements for would-be caregivers. (The Gazette)

National news

How bad will this respiratory virus season be? CDC weighs in.

The CDC predicted that this year’s fall and winter virus season will look a lot like last year’s. The CDC is predicting a “moderate COVID-19 wave ” and a “typical” influenza and respiratory syncytial virus burden. These forecasts are based on expert opinion and historical data, as well as some modeling results, especially for the group’s COVID-19 projections. The CDC noted a lot of uncertainties associated with these types of predictions, particularly relating to the timing and magnitude of the peaks of each virus. (MedPage Today)

Severity of RSV hospitalizations rivals COVID-19 in older adults

Hospitalizations for respiratory syncytial virus infections were less frequent than those because of influenza or COVID-19 in adults 60 and up, but they were associated with more severe disease, CDC researchers reported. Among hospitalized cases, the likelihood for invasive mechanical ventilation or death with RSV was double that of the flu and similar to COVID-19. RSV patients were also more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit compared with both COVID-19 and flu patients. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report)

Can rapid COVID-19 tests reveal more than a positive/negative result?

At-home rapid COVID-19 tests can reveal more about viral load than a simple positive/negative result. Researchers have shown that variations in COVID-19 test results can reveal different aspects about a person’s infection and, critically, how contagious they are at a given moment. A 2021 study showed that rapid antigen tests were sensitive and specific enough to detect a person’s viral load, whether they were symptomatic at the time or not. The authors noted that their study results “indicate a clear relation between relative viral load and test positivity and provide a practical, real-world criterion to help call results in this setting.” Other studies also showed that rapid antigen tests were capable of showing more detail about viral load than has been widely promoted. (MedPage Today)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here