Week 65 Newsletter
Increasing vaccination rates among health care workers continues to be a challenge, with many employees opposed to mandates within their workplace.
(06/30/21) Workers Are More Likely to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine When Their Employers Encourage It and Provide Paid Sick Leave, Though Most Workers Don’t Want Their Employers to Require It
With more employers returning to work, the new KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report confirms workers are more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine if their employer provides sick leave to get the vaccine and recovery time if the employee experiences any side effects. Approximately two-thirds of workers report that employers are encouraging getting vaccinated and 50 percent claim that their employer gives paid time off to get the vaccine and provide time for recovery for any side effects.
(06/28/21) Huge Number of Hospital Workers Still Unvaccinated
There is still a huge number of unvaccinated health care workers in the United States. In the 50 largest hospitals in the US, only 1 and 3 health care workers have been vaccinated. The vaccination rates vary greatly from 99% at Houston Methodist Hospital, which requires the vaccination for its health works, to 30-40% at certain hospitals in Florida.
Health Workforce Safety
Public health workers and physicians continue to suffer from mental health issues relating to their experiences working through the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new video series from the World Health Organization promotes effective ways to protect and invest in the health workforce on an international scale, addressing the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Health Workforce Safety
(07/01/21) Stress and Burnout Still Plague Front-line Health Care Workers As Pandemic Eases
Although much of the United States is returning to a pre-pandemic normal lifestyle, many physicians, nurses, and other health care workers are still experiencing significant stress and fatigue relating to their continued service. This article from The New York Times covers the difficulties and frustrations with health care workers as the rest of the nation seems to move on from COVID-19.
(06/30/21) Health Workforce in COVID-19 Action Series: Time to Protect. Invest. Together.
This article from the World Health Organization promotes the COVID-19 Action Series in the international Year of Health and Care Workers, emphasizing efforts to protect and invest in health care workers. These episodes are available to provide expert advice and guidance on how to improve the health workforce at an international scale.
(6/23/2021) The Doctors Are Not All Right
This article discusses the issue of physicians who committed suicide after experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the article, these physicians had no signs of mental disorders, and their stories reveal the existing gap in protecting health care workers in the health care system. For example, in the current health care system that penalizes workers whose mental health problems are disclosed, it is difficult for health care workers to open and discuss the problem. The article concludes with a couple of ongoing efforts and practical implications, such as legislation that supports suicide and burnout prevention training for health care workers.
Access to Care Issues
Scheduling challenges have emerged for elective surgeries for patients who have contracted COVID-19; Guidelines are in development.
Access to Care Issues
(06/28/21) COVID’s Lingering Effects Can Put the Brakes on Elective Surgeries
Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical experts are not sure when it might be safe to have elective surgery for patients who contract the disease. Even though guidelines are being developed for surgery, it is still difficult to determine a proper time frame for elective surgery for many COVID-positive patients.
New research highlights effective implementation of telehealth services in school-based health centers during the pandemic.
Lack of guidance on the future of telehealth as emergency regulations lapse are causing confusion and may disrupt patient care.
(07/03/21) Health Technology in School-based Health Centers: Supporting Continuous Care During COVID-19
This research article published in the journal Health Technology examines the use of telehealth services in school-based health centers. As the COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatic and unprecedented, widespread use of telehealth, this research can help identify benefits and difficulties in implementation of telehealth programs in both schools as well as in other medical settings.
(06/28/21) Floridians’ Access to Telehealth Could Suffer As State Order Expires
Even though telehealth services surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, health care providers are uncertain about the future of telehealth now that the public health emergency is ending. In Florida, as of last week, telephones are no longer acceptable to deliver telehealth services to non-Medicare patients and physicians cannot use telehealth to prescribed controlled substances for treating chronic non-malignant pain.
(06/28/21) Uncertain Telehealth Laws Keep Substance Abuse Care Providers on Their Toes
Substance abuse care providers, including mental and behavioral health providers, who used telehealth services like MAT therapy during COVID-19, are uncertain about how post COVID-19 telehealth rules will affect how they use telehealth. Some states have revised their telehealth rules based on the pandemic while other states are waiting for the federal government to set a long-term policy.