Today’s NewsStand — May 14, 2020

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.

Iowa news

Iowa, mental health and the pandemic

The daily stress caused by the COVID19 virus, social distancing and a deep financial crisis have had a big impact on all people in our community. It is normal to experience feelings of isolation, anxiety and uncertainty in this abnormal situation. It is also normal to feel fearful — of things that feel out of our control and especially of the unknown. It is easy to find ourselves feeling fearful or judgmental of others. This can make it hard to feel like we are “all in this together” and feel empathy for experiences or situations that may be different from our own. (The Gazette)

Johnson County health officials say hospitals continue to prepare for surge in patients

As Gov. Kim Reynolds starts to ease restrictions and counties are opening up, Johnson County health officials are urging residents to not forget to take necessary precautions that were put in place months ago. There was a lot of conversations about a second wave or “wavelets” of the virus at Tuesday’s press conference on the COVID-19 update. (KGAN-TV)

Iowa hospitals to test all patients for COVID-19 with fast results

Iowa’s three hospital systems said they will test all patients for COVID-19 and return test results in 24-36 hours. UnityPoint announced Tuesday that it will join MercyOne and Broadlawns in testing all admitted patients, even if they are asymptomatic. Dr. Rossana Rosa, with UnityPoint Health, said the increased testing will help determine where patients will be placed within the hospital, help protect patients and staff and help the hospital determine how much personal protective equipment it needs. (KCCI-TV)

National news

Inaccurate coronavirus video spreads faster than the disease

If you’re on Facebook, you probably already saw this: a video that spread rapidly and that’s almost as dangerous as the virus it covers. It is with sad irony that the “Plandemic” video went viral. Accurate and reliable information is more important than ever as the world continues to battle a pandemic. The video purported to uncover myriad conspiracy theories surrounding the new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. But the 26-minute, documentary-style video contained precious little information that was accurate or reliable. (The Gazette)

The role of clinical documentation improvement programs in supporting the financial well-being of rural and critical access hospitals

I’ve been writing recently about the financial well-being of rural and critical access hospitals: about their struggling to stay in business and how establishing a clinical documentation improvement program can help keep the doors open. The reasons for my interest are simple. As a practicing physician, I care deeply about ensuring that we all have access to the care that we need. Rural health facilities provide vital health services and economic opportunities for large swaths of people across the country. (Healthcare IT News)

The recent infusion of federal funds is helping rural hospitals stay afloat

A recent infusion of federal funds is providing much-needed relief for rural hospitals already under financial pressure when the coronavirus crisis hit. Though hospital administrators say the emergency funds will provide immediate support, there is uncertainty around how and when the funds can be used, specifically if they can be used to make up for the steep decrease in revenue spurred by the halting of elective surgeries. (The Colorado Sun)