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May 25, 2020
Florida's electronic medical records

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Florida's electronic medical records

| 4/7/2020

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Florida's electronic medical records

A $35-billion federal investment in getting health care providers to replace paper charts with electronic health records was a windfall for software vendors. Whether it has helped improve health care is another question. In Florida, roughly a third of physicians were using electronic health records (EHRs) in 2008, and fewer than 20% of hospitals had even a basic EHR system in place. By 2017, eight out of 10 Florida doctors and 97% of hospitals had implemented a federally certified EHR. [Source: Florida Trend]

COVID-19 preparedness leads to cash crunch for hospitals

Florida’s hospitals are under capacity as they anticipate a rise in COVID-19 patients within the month. The lack of patients, coupled with increased spending to bulk up on supplies, has some of these hospitals furloughing their staff. “And we’re like, ‘are you crazy?’ This is not a time to be furloughing nurses, we need to be training them and if we’re lucky enough to have 4 weeks of peace, we can train them well," said Martha Baker, a Jackson Memorial nurse and local union president. Baker lamented about the plight in a recent conference call hosted by the SEIU, an employee union. [Source: Health News Florida]

Sales surge for medical marijuana companies

Medical cannabis patients appear to be stocking up on supplies as local coronavirus cases rise. Sales at Miami-based dispensary chains Fluent Cannabis Care and One Plant surged in recent weeks as more South Floridians began to isolate in accordance with social distancing guidelines, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use. [Source: Business Journals]

Florida DOC looks to speed up prison hepatitis decision

With lawmakers facing the possibility of spending $28 million to address the issue, the Florida Department of Corrections wants a federal appeals court to rule this summer in a long-running dispute about treating inmates for hepatitis C. The department has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to decide by Sept. 8 whether to overturn a district judge’s order that requires the state to provide expensive treatment to inmates who have been diagnosed with early stages of hepatitis C. [Source: Daily Business Review]

State numbers show available hospital beds

The state has made near real-time data on hospital bed capacity available as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across Florida. In all, about 40 percent of hospital beds statewide were available as of Thursday. In intensive care-units, 37 percent of adult beds and 40 percent of pediatric beds were available [Source: ]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Signs of the times as Jacksonville business shifts to making products for medical professionals
Like many business owners during the coronavirus pandemic, Todd Helfer was re-thinking his model in two areas: what could he do to keep his employees working and his company sustainable, and what could he do to help? And in a matter of days, he and his 14 employees converted FASTSIGNS, a family business in Jacksonville that manufactures signs and graphics for buildings and vehicle fleets, to producing three products that will be of help for doctors, nurses and businesses that require face-to-face contact with customers.

› Pensacola GE plant sparks nationwide initiative to make mask shields for hospital workers
The Pensacola General Electric Renewable Energy wind turbine factory is producing plastic face shields during the coronavirus pandemic. The shields fit across N95 masks and provide an added layer of protection against contamination.

› Girl Scouts donate 20,000 boxes of cookies to North Florida healthcare workers
Nearly a quarter of a million Girl Scout cookies have been donated by troops across North Florida as part of the Cookies for Healthcare Heroes project. “It can be a way we say thank you and serve the community,” Girl Scouts of Gateway Council CEO Mary Anne Jacobs said.

› Hillsborough to test all first responders, nursing home staff for COVID-19
Hillsborough County will soon begin testing all first responders and medical staff at nursing home facilities for COVID-19. The county expects to receive 44,000 rapid test kits and will use them to test all employees who work on the front lines at fire, EMS and police agencies in Hillsborough and its municipalities. It will also test staff at assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

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Watch Navy’s Blue Angels salute South Florida’s healthcare teams and first responders
Watch Navy’s Blue Angels salute South Florida’s healthcare teams and first responders

The Navy’s Blue Angels promised to pay tribute to South Florida’s healthcare workers with a flyover Friday afternoon. And, sure enough, with a thrilling sense of roar and might, six F-18 Hornets flew in formation over hospitals in the tri-county area from Boca Raton in the north to Homestead in the south.

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