The HHS Office for Civil Rights has suspended enforcement of rules prohibiting the use of video and audio technology that isn't HIPAA compliant, but health care providers using such technology should still be cautious and avoid public-facing platforms like Facebook Live and TikTok, says health care attorney Michele Madison. Business associates of HIPAA-covered entities have also been granted regulatory relief during the coronavirus pandemic, which might make it easier for billing and other support personnel to work from home, but attorneys Alissa Smith and Kelli Fleming say practices should take precautions with those arrangements as well.
Scientists in Germany tracked down small details to trace the spread of COVID-19 from an employee at an auto parts manufacturer's headquarters near Munich. That meticulous detective work enabled the German health ministry to launch an information campaign and a testing strategy that scientists say saved lives.
Clinical social worker Liz Sarantopoulos began an online support group to help mothers new to the challenges of parenthood, particularly as they stay home due to the coronavirus. "When there is that lack of control and worry and you have predisposed risk factors, you're more likely to experience sort of an emotional complication after birth," Sarantopoulos says.
Veterinary associations around the world advise cat owners who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms to keep their cats indoors, minimize contact, and wash their hands before and after touching cats as well as food and water bowls. "Out of an abundance of caution and until more is known about this virus, if you are ill with COVID-19 you should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just as you would restrict your contact with other people," the AVMA says.
Birds that can change their behavior in response to environmental conditions have better odds of survival than those that can't, and extinction risk is inversely linked to the number of new behaviors adopted, researchers reported in Nature Ecology & Evolution. However, behavioral plasticity protects birds only from habitat changes and not from excessive hunting or invasive species, and "the species with the greatest capacity for innovation have longer generation times, which makes them more vulnerable to hunting," said study co-author Daniel Sol.
Naphtali Hoff wraps up his five-step guide to improved productivity by urging leaders to help their teams manage stress levels and to adapt their leadership approach to each person's preferred style, among other advice. "Leaders can also help by pitching in, offering people opportunities to delegate, accepting excellent even if imperfect work and giving people opportunity to vent and offer constructive feedback to improve processes and systems," he writes.
The novel coronavirus pandemic is the source of huge and increasing new stress for nurses, physicians and other clinicians in the US who are facing greater workloads, financial losses, and risks to themselves and their families. From expressing gratitude to staying at home, there are ways leaders, health care organizations, the public and clinicians themselves can help. "If nurses are continuing to work at this rate, we're going to see our nurses and clinicians really burn out in the days and weeks ahead," said Kendra McMillan, senior policy adviser for nursing practice and work environment for the American Nurses Association.
Economists expect efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic to cost the US 14.4 million jobs and to contract GDP by 4.9% this year, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal. In the near term, economists expect GDP to shrink at an annualized 25% in the second quarter and forecast an unemployment rate of 13% in June.
A study published in JAMA Network Open found that young adults with type 1 diabetes who have a strong family support system were more likely to have a general sense of well-being later in life, including having a purpose in life, a feeling of self-acceptance and a positive relationship with others, compared with young diabetes patients with no strong family support.
Diabetes patients who took metformin before undergoing a surgical procedure had a lower risk of both mortality and hospital readmission at 90 days compared with those who did not take the drug, according to a study in JAMA Surgery. Based on data from 5,460 diabetes patients ages 18 years and older, the findings also found that metformin prescriptions were tied to less preoperative inflammation.
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