Health Conference Exemplified New Covid Norms — Tests, Masks And All
Axios and Bloomberg report on the HLTH conference, one of the first big health care professional meet-ups since the pandemic began. University of Oklahoma nursing education, a Texas nurse accused of murdering four men, age bias against seniors in health care and more are also in the news.
The New COVID Conference Normal
After more than 18 months in their respective bubbles, thousands in the health care industry returned this week for what was, for many, their first in-person health care conference since the pandemic began. As the Delta variant wanes and more events actually occur in person, each comes with its own health protocols and awkward navigation of health-friendly business etiquette. (Reed, 10/19)
Health Pros Get Benched At Conference Until Covid Tests Clear
This week, the main lobby of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center includes a central purgatory: dozens of white chairs in a holding pen where visitors await Covid-19 test results. Some 6,500 people have registered for in-person attendance at HLTH, a digital health conference where more than 5,000 have already checked in on-site. To enter, attendees must show proof of vaccination and the results of a recent PCR test. No recent test to show? Then get swabbed, take a seat, and wait roughly a half hour for results, depending on the line. (Goldberg and Griffin, 10/18)
In other health industry news —
OU Partners With Hospitals In Norman, Duncan Expand Nursing Education
Health systems are offering large bonuses in an attempt to retain the staff they do have and launch new programs to add reinforcements to the field. Now, the University of Oklahoma is expanding its nursing education program, partnering with hospitals in Norman and Duncan to offer additional sites for students seeking a bachelor’s degree in nursing. It's a boon both for the college and the hospitals, which hope to reach more students interested in nursing careers and retaining nurses educated in their own communities. (Branham, 10/20)
Texas Nurse Convicted Of Killing 4 Men With Air Injections
A Texas nurse was convicted Tuesday of capital murder in the deaths of four patients who died after prosecutors say he injected them with air following heart surgeries. The Smith County jury deliberated for about an hour before finding William George Davis, of Hallsville, guilty of capital murder involving multiple victims. Prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty during the sentencing phase, which was scheduled to start Wednesday. (10/19)
This Doctor Was One Of Fibromyalgia Patients' Few Allies. Or Was He?
Cindy Bradley-Graziadei almost didn’t take the test. By the time she saw it advertised, in 2017, she was pretty much past the point of mustering any hope. Her pain had changed everything. She’d had to give up working, hiking, long-distance motorcycling. She could no longer trust her grip, and so drank only out of plastic cups. Sometimes her skin hurt too much to put on clothes. (Boodman, 10/20)
‘They Treat Me Like I’m Old And Stupid’: Seniors Decry Health Providers’ Age Bias
Joanne Whitney, 84, a retired associate clinical professor of pharmacy at the University of California-San Francisco, often feels devalued when interacting with health care providers. There was the time several years ago when she told an emergency room doctor that the antibiotic he wanted to prescribe wouldn’t counteract the kind of urinary tract infection she had. He wouldn’t listen, even when she mentioned her professional credentials. She asked to see someone else, to no avail. “I was ignored and finally I gave up,” said Whitney, who has survived lung cancer and cancer of the urethra and depends on a special catheter to drain urine from her bladder. (An outpatient renal service later changed the prescription.) (Graham, 10/20)