Week 46 Newsletter
Some top US hospitals are reporting vaccination rates for workers between 70 and 80%.
Department of Veterans Affairs health care workers are having to travel significant distances to vaccinate patients in rural settings, making it difficult to utilize COVID-19 vaccines in the limited time allotted.
(02/19/21) Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Among 6 Top U.S. Hospitals
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights vaccination rates among health care workers in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Houston Methodist, NYU Langone Hospitals, Rush University Medical Center, Stanford Health Care, and University of California.
(02/19/21) To Vaccinate Veterans, Health Care Workers Must Cross Mountains, Plains and Tundra
This article from Kaiser Health News covers the difficult journey health care workers are making in an effort to vaccinate vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, such as veterans in rural Montana. Health care workers in the Veterans Health Administration are transporting primarily the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which requires use within 12 hours of thawing.
The supply of health care professionals continues to be an issue as the US approaches a year into the pandemic.
New federal data shows which parts of the country are currently experiencing the highest hospital occupancy.
Surge Capacity Issues
(02/17/21) Rural Hospital Remains Entrenched in COVID ‘War’ Even Amid Vaccine Rollout
This article details the surge capacity concerns and challenges of a rural hospital in Louisiana. Intensive care unit capacity has been filled for months and staffing has been low due to inability to afford traveling nurses.
State and federal efforts are being made to increase access and decrease regulatory barriers to providing telehealth.
Recent research has found that telehealth services for diabetes care offers both provider and patient satisfaction.
The pandemic has helped advance interest in bills that recognize licensing for telehealth services across state lines.
The COVID-19 pandemic offers nearly a year’s worth of data on telehealth utilization, with experts hoping to optimize it for better outcomes.
(02/18/21) Variation in Telemedicine Use and Outpatient Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States
A new journal article has been published in Health Affairs researching the use of telehealth and its effect on outpatient visits throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Key findings include disparities in use of telemedicine by income and differences in use of telehealth for different specialties.
(02/18/21) For Diabetes Care, Telehealth Is a Keeper
This article from Healthline discusses the use of telehealth services for diabetes care, where new research supports the effectiveness for managing the condition with satisfaction from both providers and patients.
(02/17/21) Connected Care Alliance Unveils Telehealth Licensing Portability Plan
This article highlights the key features of draft legislation for a Medical Excellence Zone produced by the Alliance for Connected Care. The Medical Excellence Zone is a regional licensure portability program aimed at allowing participating states to recognize each other’s medical licenses.
(02/12/21) Can 10 Months of Data Show How to Optimize Use of Telehealth?
This article narrates and assesses a panel discussion on “Advancing Telehealth for Patients and Physicians” at the 2021 AMA State Advocacy Summit. The panelists explored how the pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth, its impact on the delivery of care, and the need to expand coverage.
A new report offers suggestions to improve the long-term care workforce in Michigan.
(02/16/21) Keys to Building a Stronger, More Equitable LTC Workforce
This article highlights the key features of a new report from nonprofit research and consulting group Altarum and national research, advocacy, and workforce innovations organization PHI. The report examines the state of the long-term care workforce in the state of Michigan, but also offers recommendations that are likely to help strengthen direct care workers throughout the nation.
Health care workers continue to experience significant trauma and stress from working through the COVID-19 pandemic for almost a full year.
Health Workforce Safety
(02/16/21) An Urgent Mental Health Crisis: Health Workers Facing Immense Psychological Toll From Pandemic
This news article discusses some examples of the trauma experienced by front-line health care workers working through the pandemic. Experts believe many health care workers will experience trauma from their experiences throughout the pandemic beyond the end of the pandemic.
(02/14/21) Hospitals Face Severe Shortages as Pandemic Grinds Forward
This article discusses the challenges that hospitals are facing due to severe shortages in crucial medical supplies.
Dental educators are requesting regulatory flexibility to allow dentists and dental hygienists to administer COVID-19 vaccines to patients, in an effort to improve access to the vaccine.
(02/17/21) Armed and Ready for the Future: Dental Hygienists and Dentists Administering Vaccines
This opinion piece calls for increased regulatory flexibility to allow dentists and dental hygienists to administer COVID-19 vaccines. In 2009, New York and Massachusetts allowed dentists to administer H1N1 vaccines, and following a similar pattern may allow further access to vaccination.