Healthcare Roundup—Patients still seek chaplains; 'Training' may help seniors recover faster from surgery

A blue hospital sign on the side of a building
Spiritual services are still in demand in hospitals. (Getty/Manuel-F-O)

Interest in spiritual care remains high for hospitalized patients 

Though research suggests that fewer people are religious now than in the past, many patients still want chaplain and spiritual services. 

In Sacramento, California, for example, every area hospital offers such services and Sutter Medical Center will open a new prayer room this summer. Patients value chaplains' support for themselves and loved ones, and even the irreligious will seek one out for someone to talk to. 

Chaplains undergo rigorous training before taking on hospital jobs, and many bring an interfaith approach to their work. "We don't force ourselves on anybody, but we'll check in and see what we can do to help them cope through their illness or whatever is going on in the hospital while they're here," said Greg Rold, the spiritual services director at Dignity Health's Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, California. (The Sacramento Bee

Involving parents in ICU care can improve outcomes for premature infants, study finds 

Premature newborns who are in intensive care may benefit from having nursing care that's provided by their parents, according to a new study. 

Sinai Health System in Toronto offers training to parents so they can get more directly involved in care for their babies. Parents participate in feeding, giving oral medication, taking temperatures and completing charts. 

Researchers at the hospital studied 1,800 babies who were born at least seven weeks premature to see if involving parents in care had an impact on their growth. They found that after three weeks, the babies whose parents participated grew an average of two grams more per day than the others. (The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health

Older patients should 'train' for surgery to hasten recovery 

Older patients who physically and mentally "train" ahead of a surgical procedure may recover faster and be less likely to end up back in the hospital. 

It's a model that more hospitals are trying, from the University of California, San Francisco to the University of Michigan. Duke University Medical Center studied its program that aims to prep older patients for surgery and found that those who underwent the training spent four days in the hospital following an abdominal procedure, compared to six days for those who didn't undergo the training. 

Patients in the training program were also less likely to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge. (CNBC

Tennessee hospital reports data breach after EHR server attack

Decatur County General Hospital in Tennessee has warned 24,000 patients that their information may have been exposed last year during a cyberattack linked to its EHR system.

The attack involved unauthorized software installed on a server that hosts the hospital's EHR system. The notice to patients said the software was installed to generate cryptocurrency, but it did not specify whether it was part of a ransomware attack.

The hospital letter said the organization had no evidence patient information was acquired or viewed, but the investigation “has been unable to reasonably verify that there was not unauthorized access of your information.” (FierceHealthIT)

Emporia State University forms organization to support male nurses 

The Emporia Men's Assembly of Nurses aims to take on the stereotypes that male nurses may face on the job. 

Nursing is a highly female-dominated job, and some patients are still surprised to be treated by a male nurse or nursing student. Emporia State University's assembly is opened to nursing students and professionals of both genders, and the organization aims to bring male and female nurses together to collaborate on recruiting men into nursing. 

The group is the only one of its kind in Kansas, and members plan to visit regional high schools to do outreach on nursing. (ESU Bulletin