Pharmacists Are Stressed, Fatigued; OR Surgeons Worry About Surveillance
A study highlights pressures on Ohio's pharmacists. Separately, as more monitoring tech comes to the operating room, surgeons highlight this "risky" move. Climate-disaster clinical care, antibiotic development and long covid are also in the news.
Survey By Ohio Regulator Shows Stress, Fatigue Among Pharmacists At Chain Stores
Roughly half of pharmacists in the nation's seventh most populous state say they do not have adequate time to complete their job safely, according to a report released by Ohio's pharmacy regulator Tuesday. The state's 4,000-person survey on pharmacist working conditions found the greatest concerns among pharmacists employed at large chain retail pharmacies. The findings echo NBC News reporting in March that overworked, understaffed pharmacists at chain drug stores say they are reaching a breaking point. (Kaplan, 4/21)
More Surveillance Is Coming To The OR. Surgeons Warn That's Risky
Though hospitals track patient outcomes for surgeons, most of today’s reporting and analysis falls short of the insights that could be possible with more sophisticated data from the operating room. There’s a growing movement to change that, guided by research linking what happens under the knife to patient outcomes. More rigorous evaluation of surgical technique is on the horizon, aided by technology companies turning laparoscopic cameras and other surgical tools into sources of ground truth. There’s immense promise in using robust data and artificial intelligence to improve the practice of surgery. But surgeons caution that using video and other tech for board certification or performance reviews can be risky. (Aguilar, 4/22)
COVID-19 Made Nursing-Home Work A Deadly Job. How Many Ohioans Died?
Thirty-four Ohio nursing home workers have died of COVID-19 through the week ending April 4, according to data released by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Enquirer research. The number of nursing homes that reported deaths is small: 24 out of the total 954 facilities that submitted data to CMS. The Enquirer and the Repository reached out to all the nursing homes with reported deaths for comment; 15 didn't respond. However, the CMS data has significant flaws, including the fact deaths are self-reported by nursing homes. Current reporting guidance for staff deaths also doesn't take into account if an employee contracted a case at work. Workers have the potential to be exposed to COVID-19 both inside and outside nursing homes. (Hine, 4/21)
In other health care industry news —
New Project Eyes Building Climate Resilience At Community Health Clinics
Harvard University is spearheading a new project to create a first-of-its-kind clinical framework focused on protecting the ability of safety-net clinics to provide care for patients during and after a climate-related disaster. The university's Center for Climate Health and Global Environment has partnered with Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology firm Biogen and global relief and development organization Americares on a multiyear pilot program to develop a climate resilience toolkit for community health clinics. (Ross Johnson, 4/21)
Antibiotic Development, Stewardship Advocates See Window Of Opportunity
The pandemic isn't over yet, but with more and more Americans getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel becoming a little brighter every day—at least in the United States—many clinicians, scientists, and public health advocates are calling for renewed attention to an infectious disease threat that was in the spotlight before the pandemic arrived. Prior to the pandemic, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was considered one of the major looming health threats facing the world, if not the looming threat. But over the past year, COVID-19, and its multifaceted impact on society, has pushed AMR further back on the agenda, both for the public and policy makers. (Dall, 4/21)
Doctors Scramble To Understand Long Covid, But Causes And Prognosis Are Elusive
One night in March 2020, Joy Wu felt like her heart was going to explode. She tried to get up and fell down. She didn’t recognize friends’ names in her list of phone contacts. Remembering how to dial 9-1-1 took “quite a bit of time,” she recalled recently. Wu, 38, didn’t have a fever, cough or sore throat — the symptoms most associated with covid-19 at the time — so doctors at the hospital told her she was having a panic attack. But later she developed those symptoms, along with difficulty breathing, fatigue and neurological issues. (Andrews and Zuraw, 4/22)