September 21, 2023
Florida hospitals rebound from severe nursing shortage during pandemic

Florida Trend Health Care

Florida hospitals rebound from severe nursing shortage during pandemic

| 8/15/2023

Florida hospitals rebound from severe nursing shortage during pandemic

After being stretched to the breaking point during the pandemic, the nursing shortage crisis may be over for now in Florida. Across the state, the vacancy rate for registered nurses has fallen in the past year from 22% to 13%, according to a survey of more than 200 hospitals conducted by the Florida Hospital Association. The turnover rate for nurses has also plummeted from 32% in 2022 to 20%, and hospitals are reporting many nurses have returned to their old jobs. The numbers are a relief for hospital executives after the COVID-19 public health emergency severely exacerbated the pre-pandemic nursing shortage. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Doctors hesitate to ask about patients’ immigration status despite new Florida law

Fearful of risking their jobs, jeopardizing state funding for their institutions, and further politicizing health care, Florida hospital leaders have been reluctant to speak out against a new law that requires them to ask about patients’ immigration status. While Florida joins Kansas, Texas, Mississippi, and a handful of other states in proposing crackdowns on immigrants lacking legal residency, no other state has mandated that hospitals question patients about their citizenship. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Here are some reasons why COVID cases are on the rise in Florida

COVID-19 cases are on the rise nationwide, and Florida has one of the highest rates of increase. In its most recent report, the Florida Department of Health documented nearly 10,000 new cases for the week ending July 20. The week prior had over 9,500 new cases. That is compared with just over 6,000 new cases a week at the start of June. Cases have been rising steadily for the past five recorded weeks — what one health official called the first increase in a couple of months. [Source: WUSF]

How deadly is Florida heat? There’s a big gap between official numbers and likely impact

Calculating the damage from a hurricane or wildfire is straightforward: simply add up the cost of destroyed buildings, disrupted business and livelihoods lost. For extreme heat — the kind that has gripped South Florida and much of the nation for months now — the toll is harder to tally, because the real danger of heat isn’t to homes and power lines, it’s to human health. And, experts say, the official numbers likely don’t capture the whole picture. [Source: Miami Herald]

Weight loss drug’s success leaves some Florida teens out of supply

Medications like Wegovy are changing the landscape when it comes to weight loss but access to the expensive drugs remains a concern. The drug’s success has created a demand that manufacturer Novo Nordisk has been unable to keep up with, leading to a national shortage. And there is no generic substitute. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Appeals panel rejects hospital's arguments in case over patient who fell
Saying the case involved “garden-variety slip and fall allegations,” an appeals court Friday overturned a ruling that shielded a hospital from a lawsuit involving a woman who fell while walking to a restroom. A panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal said a Duval County circuit judge had improperly agreed with St. Vincent’s Medical Center that the case alleged medical negligence. The circuit judge’s ruling would have shielded St. Vincent’s from the lawsuit because plaintiff Zadye Thomas did not comply with a notice requirement in medical malpractice lawsuits.

› AdventHealth plans massive supply-chain facility in Apopka for its Florida hospitals and more
AdventHealth will partner with a Northfield, Illinois company on the construction of a huge supply-chain center in Apopka for its hospitals in Florida. The Altamonte Springs-based nonprofit health system will work with Medline, its prime vendor for more than 50 hospitals and its other care sites across nine states.

› Pasco college promises to add 200 nurses in region
St. Leo University says it will add 200 nurses to the regional workforce by 2026 — its first five years since launching a bachelor's degree program in nursing in 2021. The college says its fall semester begins on Aug. 28, when dozens of students will begin their junior year in nursing program classes.

› North Florida mental health professionals talk positives and pitfalls of 988 hotline
Director of the Alachua County Crisis Center Alexandra Martinez said in the months leading up to the number change, the county was preparing for an influx of calls. But along with the new number, the national hotline also implemented location-based routing changes that actually decreased the number of calls the county got from 988 in the first year, from 11,563 to 9,850 total calls.

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