Is five a magic number that people will click on to find out what’s on the list? Is it just the right number you think you have the time to read? I don’t know but there are lots of lists out there with 5 things you should know. These got me to click through and I think they were worth sharing.
Considering how reliant we’ve become on virtual visits as a clinical tool, I decided to chat with a few of my colleagues about how telehealth might support the vaccine rollout efforts. After all, getting vaccinated still requires a patient’s physical presence in the office. And with nearly 3 million doses of approved vaccines having already been shipped across the U.S., we’re now beginning one of the largest vaccination efforts in medical history.
What I heard confirmed my hunch: telehealth will play a critical role in managing vaccine distribution and supporting patients through a simple, but a potentially scary process, for some.
Here are the 5 most important ways that telemedicine will help support the rollout and will prove instrumental in getting the vaccine to the people who need it the most:
Much fewer words have been dedicated to leveraging the victories of 2020 than capturing the difficulties. As a trained nurse and Epic EHR analyst working with facilities across the country, I have witnessed firsthand how telemedicine is one of those victories that provides far-reaching benefits to patient care moving forward. That is if we are willing to “lean in” and further integrate telemedicine into our healthcare approach moving forward.
Within the Epic-based facilities that I support, the number of telehealth visits increased from an average of 8.5 telehealth visits per month to over 250 in response to the pandemic. According to CDC reports, the number of telehealth visits increased by 154% compared with the same period in 2019. While these dramatic increases may balance out from their emergency-related peak, there’s no question that telemedicine will remain at the forefront of healthcare delivery.
Rural hospitals have struggled with financial troubles for years. Over the past decade, more than 130 have closed, forcing residents to drive farther or delay needed care. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has many of them wondering whether rural health care systems will survive.
Twenty percent of the U.S. population lives in rural America, a region that fuels the country with food and energy. These Americans believe their health care needs have been overlooked or misunderstood by Washington for years.
This crisis is now in the hands of the Biden administration. To revive rural health care, the administration will have to expand its push for diversity to also include rural voices so the needs and priorities of rural Americans aren’t neglected in policy agendas for the next four years.
Discharge delays are frustrating for case managers and costly for hospitals. Here’s a typical scenario: You spend all day working to discharge a patient to a skilled nursing facility, but at 5:00 PM, you still can’t reach the patient’s daughter, and you need her signature as power of attorney. The patient will have to spend another night in the hospital.
Day Health Strategies
2020 brought us extreme challenges: the pandemic, the unavoidable reality of structural racism, and the refusal of a sitting president to recognize November’s election results. 2021 is off to a rocky start, but there is hope. And there is the opportunity to “make good change,” which is our version of Congressman John Lewis’ call to action.
This year’s Top 5 list is more than a compendium of what we think this year’s most important issues in health care are. It is a call to action, with some guidance on what you can do to take action, and how we can help. Woven throughout is our commitment to CARE (Creating Access and Realizing Equity).
The common technological approach to innovation is to “break things and move fast”. But when it comes to healthcare—where the first priority is to do no harm—you have to be a different kind of innovator. How do you break things, do no harm, and create a new and better reality? Welcome to being a healthcare entrepreneur—the most exciting place to be in innovation today and, if I had to guess, for the next decade at least.
This year changed everything. Although digital health was gathering steam before the pandemic, the crisis, with all its overwhelming tragedy, also ushered in tremendous intellectual energy and freedom. Almost overnight, so many of the old constraints were gone. Healthcare organizations, technologists, and government agencies proved for the first time that speed, innovation, and safety were indeed possible in healthcare.
Here are a few of the trends I have my eye on:
When getting vaccinated against covid-19, there’s no sense being picky. You should take the first authorized vaccine that’s offered, experts say.
The newest covid vaccine on the horizon, from Johnson & Johnson, is probably a little less effective at preventing sickness than the two shots already being administered around the United States, from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. On Friday, Johnson & Johnson announced that, in a 45,000-person trial, its vaccine was about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe covid illness. No one who received the vaccine was hospitalized with or died of the disease, according to the company, which said it expected to seek Food and Drug Administration authorization as early as this week. If the agency authorizes use of the vaccine, millions of doses could be shipped out of J&J’s warehouses beginning in late February.
As an emergency physician, Dr. Eugenia South was in the first group of people to receive a covid vaccine. She received her second dose even before President Joe Biden. Yet South said she’s in no rush to throw away her face mask.
“I honestly don’t think I’ll ever go without a mask at work again,” said South, faculty director of the Urban Health Lab at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe doing that.” And although covid vaccines are highly effective, South plans to continue wearing her mask outside the hospital as well. Health experts say there are good reasons to follow her example.
“Masks and social distancing will need to continue into the foreseeable future — until we have some level of herd immunity,” said Dr. Preeti Malani, chief health officer at the University of Michigan. “Masks and distancing are here to stay.”
Malani and other health experts explained five reasons Americans should hold on to their masks:
Can’t get enough of all things five?? Check out the weekly series the Friday Five on our HealthcareNOW Radio website. This post covers a variety of topics from health events, celebrations and awareness to trending topics in healthcare and health it, and special guest posts from expert thought leaders.