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How Sharing Clinical Notes Affects the Patient-Physician Relationship

“…On April 5, a new federal rule turned OpenNotes’ goal into the law of the land.

Now, virtually every US medical practice and health system must make all information in electronic health records—with a few exceptions—easily accessible to patients at no charge. The mandate, part of the 20th Century Cures Act enacted in 2016, originally was supposed to go into effect November 2, but the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at the last minute extended the compliance deadline due to the COVID-19 pandemic….

The US Core Data for Interoperability lists 8 types of clinical information that must be shared: consultation, discharge summary, procedure, and progress notes; imaging, laboratory report, and pathology report narratives; and history and physical. The rule doesn’t apply to psychotherapy notes kept separate from the patient’s health record or notes compiled in reasonable anticipation of use in a civil or criminal court case or an administrative proceeding. In addition, the mandate permits withholding information if doing so “will substantially reduce the risk of harm” to a patient or another individual, such as in a domestic abuse situation.”

(J. Harris: Many years ago, a doctor asked me a question, and I declined to answer “because the information was personal and might never go away if recorded on his chart.” Now, the records are computerized, and the patients’ answers to questions ARE permanently imprinted  in the Cloud as is virtually all of the pertinent medical information.)

Michigan surge strategy: Biden sends federal resources, isn’t boosting vaccine supply

“…The Biden administration is sending Michigan federal resources to support vaccinations, testing and therapeutics…will help Michigan better administer the doses allocated to the state, as well as surge testing capacity and drugs for virus treatment,…President Biden told Ms. Whitmer that his administration is ready to send 160 Federal Emergency Management Agency and CDC personnel to Michigan to aid the vaccination effort, in addition to the 230 federal personnel already deployed to the state…

“On Feb. 1, Michigan eased some restrictions, allowing indoor residential gatherings of up to 15 people from no more than three households, and indoor gatherings outside the home of up to 25 people. Masks and social distancing are required at all residential gatherings. ”

Dire consequences’: Iraq issues COVID warning after record cases

Iraq recorded 8,331 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Wednesday, the highest figure since the ministry began keeping records at the onset of the pandemic last year. (J. Harris: Of course, The US still has some troops in Iraq.)

Neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 Variants B.1.429 and B.1.351

 These results, and the high efficacy shown by these vaccines, suggest that vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies are likely to remain effective against the B.1.429 variant [Californis]. The magnitude of resistance seen with the B.1.351 [S. African strain] variant is of greater concern with respect to current vaccines.

(J. Harris: The variants demand that vaccinated people continue to exercise caution for the foreseeable future, in my opinion.)

Walgreens, churches to vaccinate 5K Houstonians this weekend, with free rides, walk-up slots

India’s Outbreak

“…India has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, reporting a record of 131,968 new cases in the last 24 hours as the virus spins out of control. Deaths are rising, hospitals are quickly filling up and the country’s vaccination campaign is perilously behind schedule…The surge in India is a troubling development for the broader pandemic. The sheer number of new infections creates a breeding ground for possible new variants that could be resistant to vaccines, or better able to reinfect people who have already had the virus…Experts say complacency and government missteps are to blame for the recent surge…After cases dropped in December, many Indians shed masks and resumed normal life. Leaders also began acting as if the problem were solved, allowing large Hindu religious festivals and political rallies.”

(J. Harris: The Covid Pandemic is not over now and won’t be over soon in most of the world. For my small efforts, I will continue focusing on LOCAL COVID. I don’t think Covid-19 will be controlled world wide in my lifetime. Dammit.)



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