Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
The boards of directors of both the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII) and the Iowa Health Information Network (IHIN) have approved forming a strategic partnership between the two nonprofit organizations. In November, the entities announced plans to move forward with the due diligence process, which was recently completed by both boards. Under the arrangement, NEHII will continue all services of IHIN as IHIN remains the state-designated entity for purposes of administering and governing the statewide Iowa health information network. (PR Newswire)
With the new year comes the expected arrival of two long-awaited projects meant to serve some of eastern Iowa’s most difficult-to-serve populations. Both Linn and Johnson counties expect to open new mental health access centers in the early months of 2021. They will offer a range of services to people experiencing mental health or substance abuse crises, which organizers hope will be a better use of law enforcement and health care resources. (The Gazette)
Plans are in place to expand the number of people in Polk County who will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Until now, only front-line workers in hospitals and those in long-term care facilities have been vaccinated. Polk County is now in Phase One-A of the vaccine rollout. Starting Monday, Jan. 11, they will move on to vaccinating workers with direct patient contact, such as home health care staff, school nurses and medical professionals in general, while still anticipating a January surge. (KCCI)
The federal government came up short of its goal to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of December. Instead, only 4.2 million people in the US have been vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States cannot vaccinate people at a rapid pace because of several reasons, including lack of resources and staff, but the slow rollout is mainly because of a lack of vaccine shipments, officials say. (WBKO)
Before the pandemic, telehealth was a limited ad-hoc service with geographic and provider restrictions. But with both the pandemic restrictions on face-to-face interactions and a relaxation of governmental regulations, telehealth use has significantly increased from thousands of visits in a week to well over 1 million in the Medicare population. What we’ve learned is that telehealth allows patients, especially high-risk populations like seniors, to connect with their providers in a safe and efficient way. Telehealth is valuable for many types of visits, most clearly ones that involve mental health or physical health issues that do not require a physical examination or procedure. It’s an efficient modality for both the member and provider. (HIT Consultant)
As more Americans continue to get vaccinated against COVID-19, US officials continue to monitor for severe allergic reactions and other adverse events after getting the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said early safety monitoring has detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The cases were detected in a pool of nearly 1.9 million first doses administered Dec. 14-23. This translates to 11.1 cases of anaphylaxis per 1 million doses, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. (USA Today)