Regulations/Legal

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February 2021
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Parsing COVID-19 transmission routes informs levels of protection needed

Information about COVID-19 transmission and treatment has evolved between the time this infectious disease first emerged and now. As evidence-based knowledge grows and protocols change, and as populations are vaccinated to develop herd immunity, there is increasing optimism about the ability to combat the virus. Meanwhile, it is important to…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
January 19, 2021
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Supply chain strategies shift to meet pandemic-induced demands

Resiliency, a term that has cropped up repeatedly during the COVID-19 pandemic, is often considered a key defense against burnout. But it is also important in the context of the healthcare supply chain, says Ed Hisscock, senior vice president of supply chain management at Trinity Health, a 22-state healthcare system…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
January 19, 2021
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Editorial

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines starting in December 2020 was the one bright spot in an otherwise tragic year with a rapidly rising death toll currently over 385,000. Distribution of the 20 million doses promised by year end was thwarted by problems such as lack of coordination and lack of…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
January 19, 2021
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Expanding reprocessing programs can yield cost savings

The financial impact of COVID-19 on healthcare providers has been considerable. With experts predicting that half of all US hospitals would be operating in the red by the end of 2020, healthcare leaders have had to seek multiple ways to cut costs. The expansion of single-use medical device (SUD) reprocessing…

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By: OR Manager
January 19, 2021
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New year brings some changes to quality reporting criteria

The 2021 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)/ASC Final Payment Rule was released on December 1, 2020, and became effective as of January 1, 2021. Gina Throneberry, MBA, RN, CASC, CNOR, director of education and clinical affairs, Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA), summarized the status of Medicare regulations and…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
January 19, 2021
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CDC expands requirement for negative COVID-19 test to all airline passengers entering US

Editor's Note Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, on January 12, signed an order to expand the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all airline passengers entering the US. The order, which will become effective January 26, requires that: Airline passengers get a…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 14, 2021
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CDC: COVID-19 trends in individuals aged 0-24 years

Editor's Note This study by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that COVID-19 cases in children, adolescents, and young adults increased during the review period (March 1-December 12), with spikes in early summer, followed by a decline, and then a steep increase from October through…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 14, 2021
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Joint Commission approves four new EPs for office-based surgery

Editor's Note The Joint Commission, on January 13, announced that it had approved four new elements of performance (EPs) for office-based surgery practices that prescribe medication. The EPs for Medication Management Standard MM.04.01.01, which will become effective July 1, address the following: Having a written policy that identifies specific medication…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 14, 2021
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CDC clarifies guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations

Editor's Note The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on January 8 updated its guidance to clarify that overlapping may occur in phases of vaccinating priority groups, Reuters reports. The CDC reiterated that priority recipients of the COVID-19 vaccines are still healthcare workers, nursing home residents, those aged 75…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 12, 2021
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HHS renews COVID-19 public health emergency

Editor's Note Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on January 8 announced the renewal of the COVID-19 national public health emergency declaration, the American Hospital Association reports. The renewal is effective January 21 and will last 90 days. The declaration provides hospitals, health systems, and healthcare workers…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 11, 2021
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