In the News: Apr 2–9

Precision Medicine’s Promise for the Future

A recent Modern Healthcare article discusses potential implications for the health care industry as precision medicine continues to evolve. With the high level of financial investment directed toward research in this space, some believe that health care will fundamentally transform from a reactive, reparative care industry, to one that is more focused on proactive, preventive care.

Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, DNA sequencing has become faster, cheaper, and for some organizations, part of the standard practice of medicine. A handful of health systems across the US have begun integrating precision medicine into routine patient care, and this is believed to be just the beginning. Applying gene therapy and even using a patient’s microbiome to monitor the patient’s health is not far off in the realm of medicine.

In the face of all the buzz related to precision medicine, it is imperative to think through what the essential considerations are from an enterprise level perspective. To learn more about the hot topics, key policy trends and partnerships that come with precision public health, as well as how to calculate return on investment for precision medicine programs, please watch the Sg2 on-demand webinar Precision Medicine Landscape.

Physician Burnout Continuously on the Rise

A recent FierceHealthcare article shared statistics from a survey presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session, highlighting that more than 1 in every 3 cardiologists in the US are currently feeling burned out. This revelation should be taken seriously as burnout affects the quality of care provided to patients and has long-term consequences both on a personal and professional level. Of those cardiologists reporting burnout and high levels of stress, the majority were also likely to report hectic work environments and higher electronic medical record usage at home.

Midcareer providers with 8 to 21 years of experience more frequently reported burnout compared to early and late career cardiologists. Of those surveyed, 24% said they experienced emotional exhaustion among other burnout indicators. Additionally, the survey found a direct association with the amount of time clocked and reports of burnout, those clocking in 60 hours a week reporting higher rates of related burnout symptoms.

While physician burnout is not new, when left unchecked it can contribute to the continuing increase in workforce shortages, putting both caregivers and patients at risk. Flexibility and creativity in addressing the needs of our providers are necessary to help slow the growth of these trends. To better understand the current state of physician burnout and learn what organizations are doing to combat this problem, please read the Sg2 FAQ Assessing and Addressing Physician Burnout.

Medicine for Ventilator Patients Is in Short Supply

A recent Healthcare Finance article shows that as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to put pressure on the US health care system, hospitals and health care providers are experiencing shortages of important equipment needed to help affected patients—in particular, ventilators. However, in addition to ventilators being in short supply, there are also shortages of the drugs that patients on ventilators need.

Sg2’s parent company, Vizient, recently reported potential shortages of 13 drugs that are necessary for ventilator use, including sedatives and anesthetics, which help keep patients sedated and manage their pain, as well as alleviate their stress. As health systems compete with one another to acquire as much of these medications as they can, they end up receiving a smaller percentage than usual. Alternatives are available, but the different profiles and side effects of each can create complications and suboptimal care. The FDA is working to identify other suppliers and alternate raw material sources, and it is prioritizing drug approvals, but there are lessons to be learned—such as allowing more supply channel transparency.

The COVID-19 public health crisis is disrupting many aspects of the health care industry, and Sg2 is here to help. Please utilize our Sg2 COVID-19 Surge Demand Calculator scenario-planning tool to calculate demand need in your market and access our accompanying resource kit containing various COVID-19–related materials. Sg2 Edge members can access the tool and resource kit here, and nonmembers can access them here. Vizient resources are also publicly available on its webpage COVID-19 Resources.

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