July 30, 2021
AHIMA SmartBrief
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TOP STORY
A study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine found that patient volume declined for elective procedures and emergency conditions such as stroke and heart attack while the in-hospital mortality rate rose among non-COVID-19 patients at Providence St. Joseph Health hospitals in six states. Chief Medical Analytics Officer Ari Robicsek says the phenomenon was likely due to patients delaying needed health care and developing severe illness as a consequence, and the health system has since launched a campaign to reassure patients that it's safe to go to a hospital.
Full Story: Health IT Analytics (7/29) 
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EHR & CLINICAL CARE
Twelve additional Novant Health hospitals in North Carolina are getting MyChart Bedside after a successful two-year pilot study at three hospitals. The EHR-integrated app enables in-patients to request items like blankets or play games.
Full Story: WGHP-TV (High Point, N.C.) (7/29) 
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Avera eCARE, Augusta University Health and other tele-ICU services are experiencing an uptick in demand as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, especially in rural areas that lack or have limited trauma, critical or intensive care units. Tele-ICU services allow more community hospitals to handle COVID-19 patients instead of transferring them, and Augusta University Health's Matthew Lyon says pediatric care and collaborations with skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities are potential growth areas.
Full Story: Politico (7/28) 
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TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION
Telehealth companies Hims and Ro are the latest to offer mental health services, at cash-only prices they say are lower than some insurers' co-pays without the networks and other limits. Critics say the companies cater to people who already have the means to obtain mental health care and don't expand access to those most in need.
Full Story: Business Insider (tiered subscription model) (7/29) 
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LEGISLATIVE & REGULATORY
The White House is taking additional steps to boost the number of vaccinated Americans as a new wave of COVID-19 infections threatens areas with low vaccination rates with the mandate to require proof of vaccination from federal workers and contractors and payments of $100 for each newly vaccinated. "With freedom comes responsibility. So please exercise responsible judgment. Get vaccinated for yourself, the people you love, for your country," President Joe Biden said. Presently, the number of fully vaccinated Americans has reached 163.9 million, while the number of administered COVID-19 vaccine doses now totals 344.1 million, according to the CDC.
Full Story: Reuters (7/29),  Reuters (7/29) 
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The Sequoia Project is seeking stakeholder feedback on a draft of the Qualified Health Information Network Technical Framework and will host an interactive webinar series to explain it. The framework's primary focus is QHIN-to-QHIN data exchange, and National Coordinator for Health IT Micky Tripathi says it will eventually support new data exchange standards such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources.
Full Story: EHR Intelligence (7/29) 
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PATIENT ADVOCACY
A proliferation of poorly designed studies with inaccurate conclusions "have been fuel to the fire for COVID-19 skeptics and conspiracy theorists," says Emerson Brooking, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. Conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccine activists frequently amplify flawed findings, and retraction does little to mitigate the damage, Brooking says.
Full Story: France 24/Agence France-Presse (7/30) 
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BIG DATA & ANALYTICS
App spots anemia in eyelid photos
(Pixabay)
An algorithm that analyzes smartphone camera images of the palpebral conjunctiva, or the clear membrane, inside the lower eyelid detected anemia with a 72.6% accuracy rate, according to a study in PLOS ONE. The method wouldn't replace blood testing but would be useful for initial point-of-care diagnosis in low-resource areas, says researcher Gregory Jay, an attending physician at Rhode Island Hospital.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (7/29) 
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News from AHIMA
As a health information professional, you understand the cost of patient misidentification. We want to highlight healthcare organizations that are living the Naming Policy Pledge and implementing the standards for capturing and recording patient demographics that are specified in the pledge. Visit AHIMA.org to enter a contest by telling us how you or your organization is living the pledge. Learn more.
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AHIMA prepares qualified candidates to sit for our CDI exam through a combination of on-demand webinars, a textbook, and a live interactive learning session where one can ask questions of the instructor. CDIP is the industry's preeminent certification for CDI. Learn more.
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AHIMA has launched a reimagined trainer for CM. There's no travel required for this digitally delivered, on-demand course that lets you work at your own pace. AHIMA's new ICD-10-CM trainer shows attendees how to successfully train others to up their game. Also covered are topics for computer-assisted coding (CAC), artificial intelligence (AI), auditing, clinical documentation integrity (CDI), and mapping principles. Earn 8 CEUs. Learn more.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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