Sunday, November 29, 2020
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How patient care is changing

Covid-19   Patient Care   SDOH

Today’s Read: 2.5 minutes

We hope that your weekend was restful.

Today, a healthcare system rolls out universal social determinants of health screening, while some clinics are registering people to vote. Scientists name the medical procedures that have a high likelihood of spreading coronavirus from patient to HCP, while others find a link between PPE and headaches. Plus, the unconventional public health video that made the rounds on social media this weekend.

Also, if you haven’t heard, we launched a social media platform just for nurses. It’s called Huddle. We invite you to check it out.


Making social determinants of health a focus

RWJBarnabas Health, a New Jersey-based academic health care system, began regularly screening patients for factors that may contribute to chronic disease.

Specifically, healthcare providers will identify social determinants of health, such as food security, housing access, and transportation for each patient. After a screening, clinicians can create tailored resources for the patient and “e-prescribe” services or support programs such as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

RWJBarnabas Health plans to adopt the program across its entire system and fully integrate the assessment into its electronic health record.

Do you screen your patients for social determinants of health? How effective is your follow up with them on these health factors? Are patients open to receiving the help?

The medical procedures that pose a high Covid-19 risk for you

It isn’t surprising that some medical procedures carry a higher risk of coronavirus transmission between patient and healthcare provider than others. Nor that those procedures creating aerosols top the list.

A multi-disciplinary group of scientists decided to figure out which procedures generate the most aerosols and need the most precaution. The team reviewed an assortment of 128 documents, ranging from public health statements to equipment user manuals, to create a list of 14 procedures that pose the greatest likelihood of coronavirus transmission. Find the list here.

One-stop shop: check in and register to vote

With the pandemic canceling voter registration events, the organizations that work to sign-up voters are getting creative. In Wisconsin, doctors’ offices are filling the void with programs like VotER and Vote Health 2020, NPR reports. 

Healthcare providers wear a badge that often begins the conversation about voting with the patient. Patients can scan a QR code on the providers’ badge from a cellphone and be taken to a website to register to vote.

VotER was started by a Massachusetts General Hospital ED physician named Alister Martin. Dr. Martin saw a disparity in the registration rates of Black and Latino voters as compared to white voters, as well as an overlap between the millions of people who use emergency rooms for health care and those who are not registered to vote. VotER is being used by more than 300 hospitals nationwide, and 40,000 patients have received help registering or requesting ballots.

Do you think HCPs are in a good place to start the conversation about voting since the pandemic has made voting a public health issue?



The percentage of frontline healthcare workers who reported new-onset headaches after wearing N95 face masks and protective eyewear for four or more hours.


Watch the mask-wearing video that stormed Twitter this weekend. Warning, there’s some brief language.

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