Healthcare Roundup—WHO calls these lab tests 'essential'; Questions raised following Sutter Health's outage

Concerns have been raised by employees about how Sutter Health handled a recent systemwide outage of its computers. (Sutter Health)

WHO calls certain diagnostic lab tests essential

Tests measuring red and white blood cells, blood sugar and liver enzymes are among diagnostic tests the World Health Organization considers "essential," according to a new list published by the agency.

Other, less routine diagnostic tests deemed necessary include those for high priority diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HPV and syphilis. The goal of the list is to set universal standards, encourage countries to build labs to conduct the test and give the diagnostics industry common targets. (The New York Times article)

Questions swirl around safety at Sutter Health following computer outage

Concerns have been raised by employees about how Sutter Health handled a recent systemwide outage of its computers.

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Employees spoke on a condition of anonymity to The Sacramento Bee, saying the hospital continued admitting patients, including those receiving elective surgery and transports in its neonatal ICU, despite gaps in critical patient information. Officials said they suspended accepting new patients for a period of time and later allowed nurses in each department to determine whether they had the ability to take in more patients.

"We will be reviewing every aspect of this event and taking seriously every recommendation for improvement," said Sutter Chief Executive Officer Sarah Krevans in a video statement, in which she also complimented employees for their handling of the situation. (The Sacramento Bee article)

California plans to offer full health coverage to undocumented immigrants

California lawmakers will consider a proposal to expand Medicaid coverage to all adults regardless of their immigration status, an idea that would expand on a similar policy that extended health coverage to undocumented children.

It is an example of Democrats seeking to flout the Trump administration's agenda, of which illegal immigration has played a central role. If ultimately passed, the Senate bill would make California the first state to offer such health insurance access. It is estimated to cost $3 billion annually. (Politico article)

AMA launches new open-access medical journal

The American Medical Association on Mondaylaunched a new online general medical journal called JAMA Network Open. The journal will publish peer-reviewed, open-access clinical research.

It is the third journal launched by the AMA in recent years and will be a free and open network. JAMA Cardiology was launched in 2016 and JAMA Oncology was launched in 2015. (Release

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