COVID-19 R&D is advancing quickly, WHO says | Hospital builds ventilators from hardware store parts | CIO shares strategies for dealing with patient surge
April 9, 2020
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Top Story
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said research and development on novel coronavirus vaccines and treatments has "accelerated at incredible speed," with over 70 countries taking part in WHO research, while "about 20 institutions and companies are racing to develop a vaccine." Tedros said the WHO will soon announce an effort to promote rapid development and fair distribution of a vaccine.
Full Story: CNBC (4/6) 
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A nurse with a master's degree earned a median income of $113,930 per year in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to $71,730 per year for a nurse with a bachelor's degree. Download the SmartFocus to read more.
Health Care Leadership & Innovation
An anesthesiologist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center developed a ventilator using parts purchased at a hardware store, mainly a garden hose, lamp timer and electronic valve, for less than $100. Dr. Charles Robertson said staff members have assembled 170 ventilators that could double the hospital's supply as a last resort when COVID-19 cases surge.
Full Story: The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) (tiered subscription model) (4/8) 
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Linda Reed, CIO at St. Joseph's Health in Paterson, N.J., said hospitals and health systems can adopt several strategies to prepare for a surge in patients due to the coronavirus pandemic, including reviewing and implementing COVID-19 EHR updates and creating or modifying telehealth education and documentation to account for more relaxed regulations. Reed also suggests inputting new COVID-19 diagnosis and billing codes within the EHR to ensure accurate reporting, preparing for greater work-from-home support needs for hospital staff, and anticipating requests for remote patient visualization.
Full Story: Becker's Health IT & CIO Report (4/7) 
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Legislation, Policy & Regulation
An adjusted model tracking the US coronavirus pandemic predicts that COVID-19 could kill 81,766 Americans over the next four months and just under 141,000 hospital beds will be needed during the period, much lower than estimates released last week. However, the model assumes social distancing remains in place until August.
Full Story: CNN (4/8) 
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World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry said discussions are ongoing to allow broader access to some patented treatments and medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said he supports a proposal to "create a pool of rights to tests, medicines and vaccines, with free access or licensing on reasonable and affordable terms for all countries."
Full Story: Reuters (4/7) 
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White House spokesman Avi Berkowitz denied reports that a White House task force is working with private-sector technology companies to establish a national COVID-19 surveillance system that would present data in near real time on where and for what patients are seeking treatment and on hospital capabilities. Such a system could enable a faster, more targeted federal response, but it would also raise privacy concerns.
Full Story: Politico (4/8) 
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Trends & Technology
The novel coronavirus pandemic is the source of huge and increasing new stress for nurses, physicians and other clinicians in the US who are facing greater workloads, financial losses and risks to themselves and their families. From expressing gratitude to staying at home, there are ways leaders, health care organizations, the public and clinicians themselves can help.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Health Care (4/9) 
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HCA Healthcare opened a portal for other hospitals to share COVID-19 test results, patient discharge statistics, and critical care bed and ventilator usage. HCA is working with Google Cloud and Sada Systems on the portal and says aggregating data could help hospitals prepare for patient surges.
Full Story: Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (4/7) 
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