EMS MOBILE APP: The San Diego County EMS Office has released a new EMS Mobile App, available to the community at emsmobile.sandiegocounty.gov. It allows users to easily search through all protocols and policies using keywords. In addition, users can bookmark specific protocols and policies to quickly access them at any time. The EMS Mobile App also has a references section with important resources for hospital and prehospital health care professionals. Feedback or functionality issues can be submitted to EMSNotifications@sdcounty.ca.gov.
DISCHARGE DELAYS SURVEY: The California Hospital Association (CHA) has released the results of a member survey investigating the extent and impact of discharge delays in three key hospital settings: emergency departments (EDs), general acute care, and inpatient psychiatric care. Among the findings:
- CHA estimates that at least 5,000 patients every day will see their discharge avoidably delayed long after they are deemed medically ready for discharge. This includes 2,250 patients in general acute care, 750 in acute psychiatric care, and another 2,000 temporarily boarded in EDs.
- Some of the most important factors contributing to avoidable delays are the availability of beds in less acute settings (78% of respondents identified skilled-nursing facilities as the discharge destination most frequently associated with delays) and delays or denial of authorization from insurance companies. Payer mix also appears to be an important determining factor, as we estimate Medi-Cal patients are 2.5 times more likely to experience avoidable discharge delays and Medicare patients are 1.5 times more likely.
- On average, avoidable discharge delays add an additional 14 days to affected inpatient stays in general acute care, 25 days to those in psychiatric care, and 11 hours to those in the ED. CHA estimates these typically uncompensated boarding days and hours cost hospitals at least $2.9 billion annually.
RESPIRATORY VIRUS SURGES: The California Department of Public Health has released All Facilities Letter (AFL) 23-30, which provides guidance to hospitals on planning for and responding to an anticipated surge in adult and pediatric illnesses due to respiratory viruses. The AFL contains links to resources with clinical recommendations related to vaccination of eligible individuals for COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus, and administration of recommended early treatments to reduce illness severity. Additionally, it reminds facilities that this is the first respiratory virus season since the February 2023 expiration of the temporary waiver related to space requirements due to the COVID-19 emergency. Facilities that anticipate needing flexibility to prepare for surges should submit a program flexibility request. Hospitals should contact their local district office with any questions.
EQUITY OF CARE AWARD: The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Institute for Diversity and Health Equity is now accepting applications for the Carolyn E. Boone Equity of Care Award. This award honors hospitals and health systems that have been successful in achieving the following goals:
- Recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and care systems to advance equity of care
- Increase awareness of the National Call to Action to Eliminate Health Care Disparities and its stated goals and milestones to eliminate health care disparities
- Spread lessons learned and progress toward health care equity and the promotion of diversity
The application deadline is 2 p.m. (PT) on Nov. 17. More details are available on the AHA website.
CHA SEISMIC WEBINAR RECORDING: Don’t wait until the last minute to ensure your hospital prepares the seismic reports due by the end of the year. Access the recording and slide deck of CHA’s Sept. 26 webinar to help you complete hospital reports on time. These resources may be helpful as your hospital prepares its first Assembly Bill 1882 Annual Status Report. More details and materials from the CHA webinar, a cover letter template, along with Department of Health Care Access and Information webinar materials, are available in this CHA News article.