3 Pillars That Impact Intrinsic Motivation, Clinician Burnout

AI Detects COVID-19

In Israel, using an AI-based system has been found to be an effective way to help find people most at risk of severe COVID-19 complications. Maccabi Healthcare Services, a leading health maintenance organisation (HMO) in the country, said the system enabled it to determine who among its 2.4mln members were in the high-risk group.

The AI company Medial EarlySign co-developed the technology, which was adapted from an existing system trained to detect people most at risk from flu. The system is backed by huge sets of medical data from Maccabi going back 27 years. These medical records include a person’s age, BMI, health conditions (eg, diabetes; heart disease), and history of hospital admissions.

By trawling through this comprehensive database, the AI tool has already identified around 40,000 of Maccabi members in the high-risk group. These members were then prioritised for testing.

In addition, the AI system helps with assessing the level of treatment these at-risk members might need should they get sick: 1) home-based care; 2) confinement in a quarantine hotel; or 3) admission to hospital.

Maccabi is currently in talks with major health providers in the United States who have shown interest in using the AI system to help flag their own high-risk patients. However, bringing such a tool to the U.S. and other countries may not be that easy. In the U.S., for instance, medical records are kept in “data silos” of hospitals and other healthcare organisations. “Our ability to develop algorithms to identify individuals as high risk is limited by the lack of data sets,” notes Darren Schulte, an MD and CEO of AI firm Apixio, who hopes that the current pandemic will bring about needed improvements in data sharing.

Psychiatrists 'pleasantly surprised' with transition to telemedicine

A qualitative RAND Corporation study finds that psychiatrists offering telemedicine for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic have had largely positive perceptions of the transition. Many, however, say they plan to return to in-person care when possible, due to the challenges psychiatric telemedicine entail.


Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, a variety of logistical and regulatory hurdles prevented many psychiatrists from using telemedicine. Although research supported the efficacy of video telepsychiatry, the National Institute of Mental Health-funded study notes, only 5% of psychiatrists in the Medicare program had ever provided a telemedicine visit.

“While there were some pockets where psychiatrists were doing a lot of telemedicine, that wasn’t the norm in the United States,” said Lori Uscher-Pines, lead author on the report and senior policy researcher at RAND.

The research team interviewed 20 outpatient psychiatrists in regions where early flares of COVID-19 activity had triggered social distancing measures and shelter-in-place orders, such as New York, California, and Louisiana.

“Our key finding is that the rapid transition to telemedicine went fairly smoothly,” said Uscher-Pines. “Psychiatrists were pleasantly surprised about how well it was going and about patient response.”

Many respondents noted the safety advantages of avoiding in-person contact; some pointed out the benefits of seeing inside a patient’s home.

The shift to telemedicine was made simpler, researchers note, by regulatory and reimbursement changes.

World Celebrates Nurses Day

International Nurses Day is observed each year on 12 May marking the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth (200th this year). The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated this day since 1965.

According to Iris Meyenburg-Altwarg, Managing Director of Nursing and Director of the Academy for Nursing Education & Training at Hannover Medical University and President of European Nurse Directors Association (ENDA), nurses play a vital role in providing health services. “They devote their lives to caring and often stand as the first and only point of care in their communities. Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention, emergency care and primary and community care delivery. … Their various roles as caregivers, coordinators, leader communicators, managers, family planners, educators, counsellors, record keepers and supervisors are appreciable. It is very essential to acknowledge, appreciate and address their contribution in challenging global health and nursing care,” she says.

To celebrate International Nurses Day, the World Health Organization (WHO)/Europe has published “Competencies for nurses working in primary health care,” a set of resources aimed at strengthen primary health-care nursing workforce across the world. The publication is intended for policy-makers, instructors, managers and clinicians involved in nurses’ competencies development in primary healthcare.

Five competence clusters are covered in the document:

Patient advocacy and education Effective communication Teamwork and leadership People-centred care and clinical practice Continuous learning and research.