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China reports 2nd death in mysterious disease outbreak

Gabrielle Masson – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

A second person has died from the mysterious pneumonia outbreak originating in central China, CNN reports.
A 69-year-old man died Jan. 16 in Wuhan, China, the city where the pneumonia-like outbreak originated, officials said in a Jan. 17 statement cited by CNN. The man fell ill Dec. 31 and was admitted to a hospital five days later. He suffered abnormal renal function, inflammation of the heart and severe damage to multiple organ functions, including the lungs. 
The outbreak first made headlines earlier this month after dozens of people contracted pneumonia from an unknown virus. Officials have since discovered a new strain of coronavirus in 41 of the sickened individuals. Five of those patients are in serious condition, CNN reports.  The outbreak’s first death occurred Jan. 9 when a 61-year-old man succumbed to respiratory failure caused by severe pneumonia. 
As of Jan. 16, three cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed outside of China. All three patients report traveling to Wuhan, with two cases occurring in Thailand and one detected in Japan.  
Infected patients have been linked to the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, which was shut down for disinfection Jan. 1. 
More articles on clinical leadership and infection control:VA hospital deaths prompt House bill mandating safety reportsAllegheny Health Network cancels surgeries after Cardinal Health puts hold on surgical gownsFlu has killed 6,600 Americans, CDC estimates

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Epic EHR is 'most important puzzle piece' of West Virginia hospital's merger with WVU Health 

Jackie Drees – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

Wetzel County Hospital will officially join West Virginia University Health System later this year, a move that will transition the Morgantown, W.Va-based hospital to an Epic EHR system, according to a Jan. 15 WTOV report.
Wetzel County Hospital signed a letter of intent to merge with WVU Health, which will give the Morgantown-based health system control of the hospital’s finance, legal, human resources and public relations offices. While Wetzel County Hospital will also gain more specialist physicians, patients will have a wider physician reach thanks to WVU Health’s Epic EHR.
“Really, the most important piece of the puzzle though is the [Epic EHR],” said David Hess, MD, CEO of Wetzel County Hospital, according to the report. “They will have Epic and be completely connected to every physician, every other healthcare entity in the system, which is a big plus.”
Wetzel County Hospital and WVU Health plan to make the merger official by July 1, the publication reports.
More articles on EHRs:WVU Medicine integrates external imaging scans with Epic EHRHHS strategic plan draft calls to increase individuals’ access to health recordsUChicago Medicine launches patient-managed health records tool for breast cancer study

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Allina Health hospital forms neonatal telemedicine partnership with Children's Minnesota

Jackie Drees – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

Cambridge (Minn.) Medical Center, part of Minneapolis-based Allina Health, is teaming up with Children’s Minnesota to expand its virtual care capabilities for neonatal patients, according to a Jan. 16 Isanti-Chisago County Star report.
Through the telemedicine partnership, CMC now has 24/7 access to Minneapolis-based Children’s Minnesota neonatal care specialists. Using audio and video technology, CMC clinicians can virtually consult with Children’s Minnesota for extra support and resources when delivering care to newborns.
Virtual consultations between CMC and Children’s Minnesota will present no extra cost to the patient’s family, the publication reports.
“By allowing the Children’s neonatal specialists to actually see the baby, we’re confident that we’ll be able to keep and serve more families here, in their own community,” said Dawn Dingman, manager of CMC’s birthing center, according to the report. “We take excellent care of these babies and will send them to another facility for even more specialized care if necessary.”
More articles on telehealth:HSHS launches telemedicine ICU services at 2nd hospitalMUSC rolls out virtual care app for South Carolina state employees7 things to know about Teladoc Health for 2020

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At least 15% of US adults are physically inactive, CDC says

Gabrielle Masson – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

More than 15 percent of adults in every state are physically inactive, with estimates ranging from 17.3 percent to 33 percent, according to the CDC.
The prevalence of physical inactivity among U.S. adults was calculated from 2015-18 self-reported data acquired by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
10 states with highest inactivity rates1. Mississippi — 33 percent of adults are physically inactive2. Arkansas — 32.5 percent3. Kentucky — 32.2 percent4. Alabama — 31 percent5. Louisiana — 30.9 percent6. Oklahoma — 30.2 percent7. Tennessee — 30 percent8. West Virginia — 29.8 percent9. New Jersey — 28.7 percent10. Georgia — 28.5 percent
10 states with lowest inactivity rates1. Colorado — 17.3 percent2. Washington — 18.3 percent3. Utah — 18.6 percent4. Oregon — 19.2 percent5. Alaska — 20.3 percent6. California — 20.4 percent7. Vermont — 20.5 percent8. Minnesota — 21.2 percent9. Wisconsin — 21.4 percent10. Idaho — 21.5 percent
More articles on population health: Focus on population health, and the metrics, money will come, Gunderson Health leader saysUS birth rates hit all-time low in 2018, CDC saysNew York Supreme Court justice strikes down flavored vape product ban

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University Health System develops mobile wayfinding platform for patient navigation

Jackie Drees – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

University Health System is partnering with Gozio Health to develop an interactive mobile wayfinding platform to help patients navigate the San Antonio, Texas-based health system.
The mobile platform will cover more than 3 million square feet of navigation and provide turn-by-turn directions at University Hospital and its parking garage as well as access to 28 UHS satellite clinics and urgent care centers.
UHS patients and visitors will also be able to view physician directories, digital health records, and pharmacy locations on their smartphones, via the application.
More articles on consumerism:Forget Dr. Google — Gen Z is getting medical debt advice from TikTokPatients 60% more likely to respond to texts than emails, report finds: 3 notesWhat healthcare can learn from the tech-first strategy keeping brick-and-mortar retail afloat

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Black Book names Cerner best EHR vendor for client service, tech support 

Jackie Drees – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

Cerner is considered the top EHR vendor across all levels of comprehensive hospital technology services, according to a recent Black Book Research report.
For its Future of Healthcare Tech Support report, Black Book surveyed almost 2,500 EHR and health IT users between March 2019 and November 2019. Participants were asked about their satisfaction with technical client service and support on more than 100 EHR systems and rated various factors on a one-to-10 scale.
Four survey insights:
1. Cerner scored the top rankings for EHR vendor satisfaction across all four levels of hospital technology support to ensure all the provider’s business goals are aligned with the technology’s abilities.
2. Eighty-four percent of non-IT employees said they are “fed up” with inadequate technical service and software account support from their current EHR and health IT vendors.
3. Eighty-two percent of hospital IT managers said they prefer their EHR deliver direct, comprehensive technology support rather than handing the responsibility off to a third party or on the hospital system itself.
4. Ninety percent of CIOs said multilevel technology support from their main health IT vendors will be a leading competitive differentiator over the next five years. 
More articles on EHRs:WVU Medicine integrates external imaging scans with Epic EHRFormer HHS secretary: New interoperability rules would hurt Epic, Wisconsin economy16 hospitals, health systems seeking Allscripts, Cerner, Epic, Meditech talent

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Physician assistant median base salaries, by state

Kelly Gooch – Friday, January 17th, 2020 Print  | Email

The annual median base salary for full-time clinical physician assistants was $106,000 in 2018, a 1 percent increase from $105,000 in the year prior, according to the 2019 AAPA Salary Report.
Alaska had the highest median PA salary ($133,250) in 2018, but it falls to No. 22 on the list after adjusting for cost of living. Alabama had the lowest median PA salary ($90,000), according to the report, which was based on a survey of 13,088 physician assistants in February and March.
The PA median base salary and the cost-of-living adjusted PA median base salary in each state and the District of Columbia are listed below:
Alabama Median base salary: $90,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $99,668
Alaska Median base salary: $133,250Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $107,807
Arizona Median base salary: $110,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $105,465
Arkansas Median base salary: $102,500Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $116,082
California Median base salary: $124,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $89,209
Colorado Median base salary: $103,084Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $98,082
Connecticut
Median base salary: $115,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $93,042
Delaware Median base salary: $102,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $98,361
District of Columbia
Median base salary: $108,800Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $72,437
Florida Median base salary: $105,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $104,478
Georgia Median base salary: $102,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $110,032
Hawaii Median base salary: $113,500Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $85,790
Idaho Median base salary: $102,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $110,749
Illinois Median base salary: $103,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $95,018
Indiana Median base salary: $104,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $113,786
Iowa Median base salary: $104,500Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $113,711
Kansas Median base salary: $100,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $108,108
Kentucky Median base salary: $95,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $103,939
Louisiana
Median base salary: $98,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $104,701
Maine Median base salary: $105,936Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $92,764
Maryland Median base salary: $108,160Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $85,434
Massachusetts Median base salary: $110,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $87,371
Michigan Median base salary: $102,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $113,839
Minnesota Median base salary: $110,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $110,220
Mississippi Median base salary: $95,750Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $112,913
Missouri Median base salary: $99,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $110,738
Montana Median base salary: $106,500Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $109,907
Nebraska Median base salary: $97,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $103,412
Nevada Median base salary: $115,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $110,683
New Hampshire Median base salary: $106,050Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $88,671
New Jersey Median base salary: $115,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $97,293
New Mexico Median base salary: $110,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $113,636
New York Median base salary: $110,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $77,629
North Carolina Median base salary: $101,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $109,663
North Dakota Median base salary: $109,250Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $107,955
Ohio Median base salary: $103,990Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $115,931
Oklahoma Median base salary: $110,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $121,547
Oregon Median base salary: $112,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $103,131
Pennsylvania Median base salary: $98,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $95,053
Rhode Island Median base salary: $110,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $93,777
South Carolina Median base salary: $95,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $98,039
South Dakota Median base salary: $106,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $112,169
Tennessee Median base salary: $98,900Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $109,282
Texas Median base salary: $110,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $115,546
Utah Median base salary: $101,318Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $102,861
Vermont Median base salary: $106,500Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $90,561
Virginia Median base salary: $101,062Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $98,537
Washington Median base salary: $118,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $104,889
West Virginia Median base salary: $100,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $106,496
Wisconsin Median base salary: $105,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $108,583
Wyoming Median base salary: $107,000Cost-of-living adjusted median base salary: $106,362
Access more information about the AAPA report here.

More articles on compensation:10 highest-paying nurse practitioner specialtiesHow UMass Memorial cut executive payroll in halfSentara pledges to reach $15 minimum wage by 2022

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VA hospital deaths prompt House bill mandating safety reports

After a string of suspicious deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital, lawmakers have introduced a bill in the U.S. House requiring the VA to provide detailed reports on patient safety and care quality at its hospitals.
The Improving Safety and Security for Veterans Act of 2019 was introduced to ensure that federal lawmakers are kept up to date on the quality and patient safety policies and processes at VA hospitals across the country.
In addition, the bill requires the VA to send Congress a report on the investigation into the 11 suspicious deaths at Clarksburg, W.Va.-based Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center. The veterans in the hospital’s medical-surgical unit were improperly injected with insulin from 2017-18. Three of the deaths were ruled homicides.
Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), David McKinley P.E. (R-W.Va.), Carol Miller (R-W.Va.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) introduced the legislation.
“We cannot begin to understand the grief and anger of the families whose loved ones died under suspicious circumstances at the Clarksburg VA,” said Mr. McKinley. “The goal of this bill is to ensure transparency and accountability. It will also provide Congress with a better understanding of what happened in Clarksburg, and how to prevent it from ever happening again.”
More articles on clinical leadership and infection control:Physicians association sues US congressman, cites ‘reputational injury,’ after website visits dropAllegheny Health Network cancels surgeries after Cardinal Health puts hold on surgical gownsFlu has killed 6,600 Americans, CDC estimates

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Young opioid OD survivors not getting follow-up care they need, study finds

A fraction of adolescents and young adults who survive opioid overdoses receive timely addiction treatment to prevent future opioid abuse, a study published in JAMA Pediatrics found.
“If patients with overdoses don’t get linked right there in the emergency department to the appropriate follow-up care that could help them avoid a recurrence, they or their families should ask for assistance in making it happen,” said Rachel Alinsky, MD, a pediatrician and adolescent medicine fellow at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and lead researcher of the study. “We have treatment programs that work effectively and save lives, but that doesn’t matter if patients don’t get into them.”
Researchers used the 2009-2015 Truven–IBM Watson Health MarketScan Medicaid claims database and reviewed record for a little over 4 million people, ages 13 to 22 years.
They identified 3,791 cases of nonfatal opioid overdose, of which 26.4 percent experienced a heroin overdose. The median age was 18 years.
Of the total number of nonfatal opioid overdose cases, 3,606 youths were enrolled in Medicaid for at least 30 days after the incident. But only about 30 percent of this group received addiction treatment within 30 days of the overdose — 29.3 percent received behavioral health services only, and 1.9 received pharmacotherapy.
More articles on opioids:5 most commonly prescribed opioids at emergency department dischargeMinnesota opioid prescriptions plummet; providers may soon be penalized for overprescribingLimiting opioids in ERs can leave some sickle cells patients in pain

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Pragmatic innovation: CIO Dr. Andrew Rosenberg's approach to new tech investment

Innovation in healthcare often requires a technology component and significant cultural change. As a result, it’s not always possible on a tight timeline.
However, new initiatives focused on solving real and immediate problems in the healthcare space will gain priority and the necessary resources to get the job done. Andrew Rosenberg, MD, CIO of Michigan Medicine, has first-hand experience making large scale innovative changes at his academic health system.
Here, Dr. Rosenberg discusses how he views innovation in healthcare and the most important aspects of engaging with pragmatic transformation.
Question: How do you separate the truly useful and innovative technology from the hype when new tech crosses your desk?
Dr. Andrew Rosenberg: When my colleagues and I look at new technologies and pitches brought to us we want them to solve existing problems. They have to be grounded in solving a problem as opposed to a higher, more abstract or conceptual idea. Both are reasonable ways of approach technology development, but I find it more pragmatic to do so based on solving real problems than a theme, such as ‘mobility’ or ‘blockchain.’
I find that there are so many existing workflows and investments, that even if I decided we wanted to become a cloud-based system and move everything to the cloud, it wouldn’t happen for a long time. I tend to ground innovation discussions in problems that can be solved, and that we need solved, in the near term.
Q: How do you set innovation discussions for your team?
AR: I’m big on frameworks to help my team have complex discussions. For example, we may discuss how to view IT investments across all domains. We use an IT maturity framework to figure out which servers we are working on systemwide and which need to be replaced, which every CIO has to think about. If we decided we want to move to the cloud, I wouldn’t go to the CEO and say we should make that move and push it as an innovation. Instead, I would point out that we don’t have to be cloud-first, but we could move things incrementally to the cloud as it makes sense, like using the cloud for our supply chain or enterprise resource planning.
Then I would take that idea and recognize that for our research, we have huge storage needs, especially with imaging. That is truly big data and we can’t keep up with something as mundane as storage for it. As a result, our research data is an area where we have a problem and we can solve it by taking an innovative approach with the cloud-based storage system.
A further example is cybersecurity. The problem is that we are trying to secure protected health information. I’m looking at the new techniques that fundamentally may innovate in the way we think about data. There are a few firms that we are working with that previously only existed with secret government agencies but now they are becoming public. We are looking for technologies that can help us secure PHI and manage data differently. Instead of just implementing better and better encryption and mobile device management, all of which are not innovation, we are trying to develop a way to make the devices U of M employees use quantum resistant. This is encryption that is scalable across of their devices and the first we are going to work with are absolutely, fundamentally innovative in what they do to solve a real problem.
Q: What are the best examples of companies that really provide an innovative edge for you?
AR: I want to see healthcare organizations trying to disrupt themselves. Virtual care is a good example of that because technology can help us provide care at home in a way that we have never done before. We can combine new data types in healthcare, digital imaging, molecular diagnostics and genomics for more personalized healthcare. Those are areas where we find very specific new ways of providing care in our pilots and experiments.
There aren’t massive fundamental changes in the healthcare space for us. We still have a lot going on in health IT right now to solve specific problems. At many of the IT meetings I attend, there is a lot of talk about digital transformation, which is easy when you have a mobile field where everything is based on disruption, but large organizations still have a lot of legacy technology. We need leaders that can be innovative but also translate between the clinical and IT worlds to execute on those initiatives.
Q: What is a good example of a pragmatic innovation?
AR: One example that comes to mind is communication and notification for physicians. Many health systems are still deeply dependent on paging. Yet, paging is an antiquated but cost-effective technology. We are moving away from that and more toward unified communications that include secure modern mobile devices like iPhones and secure texting with alert notifications and Wi-Fi-based security. All of those themes have an element of innovation, but the idea of switching the pager for the iPhone isn’t innovative; there is a huge amount of change we have to do.
The idea of the pager is one part of the multidisciplinary communication platform that requires a lot of infrastructure across a large health system as well as workflow change, which can be complicated. Most people don’t think of using their iPhones or Androids as a single communication system as innovative, but it’s transformative and we are spending millions of dollars on it.
Q: Are there any clinical innovations you’re supporting?
AR: We are doing experiments in genomics and making that data available in the EHR. Additionally, there are innovations to the infrastructure that support new technology on the back end for things like logistics or storage. If we want to keep up with the advanced artificial intelligence for imaging radiology, we need vendor-neutral archives. We have to figure out how to move from a vendor-specific pack workflow infrastructure to a vendor-neutral archive so we can view a larger amount of data, which also includes OR imaging, tele-imaging, ophthalmology imaging and other types of tele-care.
More articles on health IT:Hackers demand ransom payments from patients of Florida providerThe build vs. buy debate: 5 key thoughts from health system CIOsThe big opportunity in AI, genomics & precision medicine: UPMC clinical analytics chief Dr. Oscar Marroquin

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