The Newsstand

Today’s NewsStand — Nov. 23, 2020

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

Iowa news

COVID-19 putting a heavy burden on Iowa’s air ambulance crews

Air ambulances used by Iowa’s three largest health systems are busier than ever because of COVID-19. The number of flights per day for helicopter crews at MercyOne, UnityPoint Health and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, already up since the pandemic started in March, has spiked this month as cases have risen. It took about seven months into the pandemic, on Oct. 12, for Iowa to report its 100,000th case of COVID-19. On Thursday, just five weeks later, that number doubled to more than 200,000. Another 3,401 new cases and 33 new deaths were reported Sunday morning. (Des Moines Register)

DHS announces new partnership to grow Iowa’s health care workforce

The Iowa Department of Human Services and the Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program have launched a partnership program for resident physicians from the Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program to receive training at the Woodward Resource Center, in Woodward, Iowa. The center serves children and adults with intellectual disabilities and other related disabilities from throughout Iowa. The goal of this initiative is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship between the Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program and DHS to grow and strengthen Iowa’s direct care workforce, while providing quality care to DHS clients and educational opportunities for Broadlawns-UnityPoint Psychiatry Residency Program resident physicians. (Department of Human Services)

Iowa Mental health experts are noticing an increase in stress as the holiday season nears

This holiday season is causing a lot of stress and anxiety for those who want to get together with family, but also wanting to stay safe. Since the start of the pandemic, anxiety, stress, and depression rates have increased enormously. Now that the holidays are among us, those numbers have increased even more. Many are struggling with these issues, as the CDC is now recommending to avoid travel for Thanksgiving. (KWWL)

National news

‘The exhaustion is palpable’: Hospital chiefs plead for support as staff resilience runs thin

The ability of a hospital or health system to maintain appropriate staffing levels is one of the most pressing challenges executives now face amid a nationwide resurgence of COVID-19. As such, many are making pleas to their state for help. At the start of the pandemic, securing personal protective equipment and supplies were top priorities for hospital leaders. But Bruce White, the CEO of Knox Community Hospital in Mount Vernon, Ohio, told knoxpages in a Nov. 21 report, “That’s not the issue now, it is manpower. It is the skilled resources.” (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Patients like telehealth, but barriers still persist

Patients are seeing telehealth as a bright spot in the nation’s response to COVID-19. Patients scored telehealth services at 860 on a 1,000 point scale as part of the JD Power 2020 US Telehealth Satisfaction Study. Unfortunately, it was not all good news. The study found that 52% of telehealth users report they have encountered at least one barrier to telehealth. The most common barriers included: limited services (24%), technology requirements (17%) and a lack of awareness about the cost (15%). Another 35% of telehealth patients reported they experienced a problem during a visit, and 26% reported technological-audio issues, the release reported. (Psychiatric Times)

Rural areas send their sickest patients to the cities, straining hospital capacity

Many rural communities across the US have resisted masks and calls for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, but now rural counties are experiencing record-high infection and death rates. Critically ill rural patients are often sent to city hospitals for high-level treatment, and as their numbers grow, some urban hospitals are buckling under the added strain. (NPR)