Most Wired hospitals use technology to improve the patient experience

This year’s Most Wired list includes hospitals large and small that have found innovative ways to use technology to benefit patients. Major trends seen in Hospitals & Health Networks’ (H&HN) 2016 report include fighting cyber crime, expanding telehealth services and leveraging predictive analytics to improve care.

“Other matters growing in importance among the Most Wired hospitals and health networks include using data to make the transition from volume-based to value-based reimbursement; helping to connect hospitals in remote locations with specialists via video or audio; and continuing to work to make electronic health records more useful and shareable among different hospitals and health systems,” according to H&HN.

View the report to access the full list of Most Wired hospitals, as well as profiles highlighting the efforts of individual hospitals.

ASHE video explains CMS changes to health care field

Changes to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation requirements have brought up many questions from health care facility managers. Tim Adams, FASHE, CHFM, CHC, American Society for Healthcare Engineering’s (ASHE) director of member professional development, answers many questions in a new video addressing the CMS changes.

The 42-minute video can be accessed by non-ASHE members, and the organization encourages viewers to share the resource with health care executives within their facilities. CMS will begin surveying hospitals according to the new requirements in November.

CDC awards funds $25 million for states and territories to prepare for Zika

A total of $25 million of preparedness and response funding has been awarded to 53 state, city and territorial health departments in areas at risk for outbreaks of the Zika virus.‎ The funding, awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is effective July 1 and can be used through June 2017. All jurisdictions will have the funds by next week.

Selection of funding recipients was based on the risk of local transmission as determined by the estimated range of the two Aedes mosquito species known to transmit Zika virus in the U.S.; history of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks; and the size of the population.

Jurisdictions can use the funds to rapidly identify and investigate a possible outbreak of Zika virus in their communities; coordinate a comprehensive response across all levels of government and nongovernmental partners (including the health care sector); and identify and connect families affected by Zika to community services. Funding also can be used to purchase preparedness resources like repellent, screens and supplies for Zika Prevention Kits. 

Architectural group releases report on design’s impact on public health

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Architects Foundation and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture issued a report summarizing the second annual convening of the AIA’s Design and Health Research Consortium held April 12–13 in Alexandria, Va.  

The report, “From Research to Application: Building the Bridge to Practice,” addresses ways in which architects, designers and health professionals can apply design and health research in their communities. It considers three closely-connected concepts imperative for expanding the knowledge base and catalyzing industry adoption of health research in design:

  • Making research relevant
  • Crafting a good proposal
  • Building value in the community

California health care facilities can electronically submit architectural plans

The California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has launched a new website where health care facilities can digitally submit architectural plans for review. The new portal offers real-time monitoring of project status, digital plan stamping, a commenting feature and corrections reports.

"In an effort to streamline the plan submittal process, reduce paper waste, and reduce expense and inconvenience of printing and shipping multiple copies of the construction documents, OSHPD has developed an electronic plan check program. Electronic plan check will allow concurrent reviews by OSHPD staff, which should reduce review turnaround times and will support a consolidated corrections list that clients can use to track and respond to comments. It will also facilitate more complete and comprehensive plan check comments as well as provide feedback on areas where submittals are consistently in need of correction or focus," according to a statement from OSHPD.

Panel issues recommendations to bolster federal response to public health threats

An independent panel appointed by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to capture lessons learned from the agency’s response to Ebola issued recommendations to enhance the federal response to international and domestic public health threats.

The report calls for increased coordination within HHS, across federal agencies and with state and local governments and their private-sector partners. The panel also emphasized the need for sustained federal funding for emergency preparedness and response activities. Along with the report, HHS released an Ebola response improvement plan.

CDC: Number of Zika virus cases in U.S. surpasses 1,000 (consider adding this to the top Zika story)

As of July 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 1,133 cases of Zika virus in the U.S. All but one of those cases, which was acquired in a laboratory, are travel-related. New York and Florida have the most cases, 285 and 206, respectively.

There are 2,534 cases among U.S. territories, with eight of those being related to travel. Ninety-eight percent of locally acquired cases among U.S. territories are in Puerto Rico.