Here's The Latest in Health Care:
• While millions wait for a lifesaving shot, the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus continues to soar upward with horrifying speed. This week the official death count reached 400,000 — a once-unthinkable number. In fact, more than 100,000 Americans have died due to the pandemic in just the past five weeks alone. Read More
• The more packed a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) is with COVID-19 patients, the greater likelihood those patients will die, according to a chilling new study. COVID-19 initially overwhelmed hospitals when it all but shut down the United States in early spring, which is also when mortality rates peaked for COVID-19 patients in the ICU. But as the infection curve was bent later in the spring and summer and hospital capacity freed up, mortality rates declined significantly. Read More
• Vaccination is widely viewed as essential to controlling the coronavirus through herd immunity, which occurs when a large proportion of a population develops resistance to infection, yet, many people are reluctant to be vaccinated for reasons including misinformation and cultural barriers. Clinicians will need to take a multipronged approach to communicate with their patients about coronavirus vaccination. Read More
• Managing staff shortages, as well as mental health concerns, will be top priorities for physicians' groups as they head into 2021, according to a new report by MGMA. They also identified telehealth in particular as an area that will remain a major focus in the coming year, with 97% of practices reporting they've expanded telehealth services in the past year. Read More
Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.