January 25, 2022
SmartBrief for Health Care Leaders
A news roundup for health care executivesSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Top Story
Scientists say experience with antivirals for hepatitis C, HIV and other viruses suggests that SARS-CoV-2 is likely to evolve resistance to two promising new COVID-19 drugs from Pfizer and Merck/Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The most effective antivirals target multiple parts of a virus or can be combined with complementary therapies and are easily administered, and research on such therapies is underway.
Full Story: Nature (1/21) 
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The Business Case for a Next-Generation EMPI
Learn how next-generation person data management has made technological leaps over legacy software in recent years to support healthcare organizations' goals of a clear, 360-degree view of their patients and populations. See the guide.
Health Care Leadership & Innovation
Bernice Rumala is leading Health Equity and Literacy in OC, a community health equity initiative supported by a $4 million HHS grant in Santa Ana, Calif., which is among the areas hardest hit by COVID-19. "What's most effective is engaging with community allies and ambassadors who can help spread the health literacy messaging and the importance of vaccination," Rumala said.
Full Story: Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/20) 
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Nursing educators are considering the strategic skills nursing students need to work in the current and future health care environment, and an article in the Journal of Professional Nursing gives actionable steps to infuse innovation into the mission and studies of nursing schools. "We must promote nurse-led innovation initiatives internally and externally, to amplify the work being done by nurses in education, research, policy, and practice," says Marion Leary, director of innovation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Full Story: HealthLeaders Media (1/25) 
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Legislation, Policy & Regulation
A survey conducted by Axios and Ipsos found 84% of US adults are supportive of the federal government's initiative to mail free home-based COVID-19 tests upon request. The same share expressed support for a federal plan to provide N95 face masks via health clinics and drugstores.
Full Story: The Hill (1/25) 
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A meeting of surgeons, scientists, advocacy groups and women in 2019 had prompted the FDA to update its existing rules in relation with breast implants in October last year, which included creating new labeling requirements for breast implant manufacturers and prohibiting the sale of textured breast implants. Due to the changes, "[b]reast implant surgery has never been safer, because the implant technology has improved and leak rates are lower than ever; surgical complications are lower as well," said Andrea Pusic, the Joseph E. Murray Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.
Full Story: Harvard Health Publishing (1/21) 
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Robert Califf, President Joe Biden's nominee for FDA commissioner, agreed with other industry experts that confirmatory trial completion is key to the success of the FDA's accelerated approval program, and he said new legislation may be necessary to stimulate generation of confirmatory data. Speaking at a recent summit, Califf praised the program's design but said its biggest problem is "the failure to produce confirmatory evidence quickly and in a way that really gives us the information that we need as patients and clinicians to decide which treatments are most effective and in which order."
Full Story: Regulatory Focus (1/19) 
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Four imperatives for healthcare leaders
To better leverage the new healthcare ecosystem, leaders must take on four distinct imperatives. To do so, they must consider outside partners who can deliver more: data, access, and improved patient experience.
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Trends & Technology
Moderna is slated to announce possibly by "next month or so" in which African country it will set up its fill-finish facility to produce COVID-19 vaccines, according to Shannon Klinger, the company's chief legal officer. Moderna forecasts that fill-finish production could begin as soon as next year.
Full Story: Reuters (1/20) 
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A report by the nonprofit ECRI lists cybersecurity as the most significant technological concern facing health care providers and organizations. Material shortages caused by supply chain problems rank second, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Full Story: HealthLeaders Media (1/24) 
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