Cerner will begin moving employees back on campus Monday, starting with 10% of its workforce and aiming for no more than 50%.
Employees will be encouraged to wear masks, fitness centers and cafeterias will be closed, elevators will be limited to two passengers, and staircases will be designated as one way.
The company says positions in its consulting and client support areas may remain virtual permanently.
From Allscripts Insider: “Re: Allscripts layoffs. About 60 people on Monday, several of whom I know.” Unverified, but reported by several folks.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Few poll respondents have been tested for COVID-19, although a significant percentage tried but couldn’t get access to a test. Maybe I should ask about antibody testing now that those are more widely available.
New poll to your right or here: How do you expect your family’s financial security to look on January 1, 2022 compared to the same day in 2020?
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
In Asia, health tech giant Ping An Healthcare, whose market cap is $15 billion, removes Wang Tao as chairman, executive director, and CEO.
Announcements and Implementations
Banner Health launches chatbot-powered “virtual waiting rooms” from LifeLink to collect patient check-in information before all telehealth and in-person office visits.
Microsoft and UnitedHealth Group offer their self-developed ProtectWell coronavirus symptom screening app, which they will use for their own employees, to all US companies at no charge.
Few of the 1,200 LifeBridge Health employees who have been tested for COVID-19 antibodies are positive, suggesting that most of its employees do not have immunity.
In England, BBC looks at the healthcare technologies that have changed in response to COVID-19:
- One hospital developed a “call for help” app for ICU workers who need assistance and who otherwise would need to leave a patient’s room and use another set of PPE, with the app featuring large fonts for viewing through visors and sensitive buttons that respond to double-gloved fingers.
- Expanded staffing of the NHS’s 111 national non-emergency medical help line.
- Creation of machine learning models that predict demand for ICU beds and ventilators, now being extended to estimate length of stay.
- Rapid rollout of video consults, with 88% of GP practices in Wales offering them within a month, after which their use was extended to hospitals, mental health services, and nursing homes.
Former National Coordinator David Blumenthal, MD, MPP and his brother, Senator Richard Blumenthal, JD (D-CT) warn that COVID-19 contact tracing – whether by app or by human contact tracers – is intrusive by definition, as identifying contacts requires reviewing social media posts, text messages, credit card statements, and other personal records. They say that while the notification system that Apple and Google are rolling out limits contains privacy-preserving technologies, the US is overdue for a federal consumer privacy law. Senator Blumenthal and several other Democratic senators and representatives introduced on Thursday the Public Health Emergency Privacy Act, which would require individuals to opt in, require that data that is collected for pandemic efforts be deleted afterward, and prohibit using the data for purposes outside of public health.
FDA orders the shutdown of a broadly supported Seattle COVID-19 population testing program pending federal government review. Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network ran afoul of FDA by telling participants the result of their tests, which places the program within the realm of diagnostic – rather than surveillance – testing, requiring a different FDA group to review the safety and accuracy of its at-home collection kits. A predecessor program that identified the first US cases of COVID-19 infection using patient swabs from a previous flu study was ordered closed by federal and state officials because the researchers did not have patient consent for the new use of their samples and their lab was not certified for diagnostic testing.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio chooses Health and Hospitals to run the city’s COVID-19 contact tracing program instead of the Health Department, which has extensive experience in doing the same work for tuberculosis and HIV. Health and Hospitals CEO, Mitchell Katz, MD had previously urged the mayor to avoid mitigation measures, arguing that most people recover and will then contribute to herd immunity. Katz’s predecessor says, “Just because they both have ‘health’ in the name doesn’t mean they’re in the same business … this is a job for the Health Department.”
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD notes that the pandemic has slowed dramatically in the US after a long plateau, a trend that could be boosted by seasonality as summer sets in. Cases are declining or flat in most states, but a handful have an expanding case count and relaxation of mitigation steps will cause growth. He also notes that 40% of states don’t report COVID-related hospitalization, so the national count is incomplete.
- Health Catalyst appoints Mark Templeton (DigitalOcean) to its board.
- Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, releases the latest edition of its Clinical Concepts in Obstetrics podcast, “Team Skills.”
- Spirion raises over $9,000 for local restaurant workers impacted by COVID-19 closures through its This One is On Us restaurant relief program.
- StayWell publishes a new infographic, “Content marketing strategies to recharge from COVID-19.”
- Surescripts publishes a new report, “Pharmacist Perspectives on the Specialty Fulfillment Process.”
- TriNetX adds the Brazil-based Techtrials integrated, real-world dataset to its global health research network.
- Vocera publishes a new CNO Perspective, “Nurses Have Stepped Up. Now It’s Time to Support Them as We Move Forward.”
- Answering the $3 Trillion Question: Five Critical Strategies Essential to Healthcare’s COVID-19 Financial Recovery (Loyale Healthcare)
- How Meditech Customers Worldwide are Meeting the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Meditech)
- The Top Five Insights into Healthcare Operational Outcomes Improvement (Health Catalyst)
- 6 Small Changes to Complement Your Physical Therapy Marketing Strategies (MWTherapy)
- Growing Stronger Through Change (Netsmart)
- MythBusters! Credentialing and Contracting (OmniSys)
- Automating Charity Care Checks for a Better Patient Financial Experience (Experian Health)
- COVID-19 Highlights Physician Burnout, Mental Health Concerns in Healthcare (PatientKeeper)
- Understand Contact Tracing & Digital Tools Available Now (Pivot Point Consulting)
- Protect Your Data Against Increased Ransomware Risks (Pure Storage)
- Introducing Botcasts (QliqSoft)
- How to plan for outages and build team resilience during a pandemic (Redox)
- How Medical Practices & Groups Use Digital Health Campaigns to Close Gaps in Care & Deliver Better Outcomes (Relatient)
- Forget your password while working remotely? We can help! (SailPoint)
- 5 Reasons Why You Need an Independent Partner for Meditech Projects (Santa Rosa Consulting)
- Three Data Errors Stifling Healthcare Marketing Outreach and Trust (SymphonyRM)
- The Dos and Don’ts of Telehealth Billing Compliance (WebPT)