Amy Maxmen, a San-Francisco-based science reporter for Nature magazine, travels the world to cover global health topics. In 2018, her work took her to Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand to cover the rising number of malaria deaths in Southeast Asia.
Her story “Malaria’s Ticking Time Bomb,” won first place in AHCJ’s 2018 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for a public health story published in the small market category. The article deftly blended plain English with scientific jargon to tell the story of scientists and public health workers efforts to eliminate malaria in Southeast Asia, as they contend with volatile political situations. Continue reading
Our connected world via air travel is one of the driving factors behind the globe’s vulnerability to a pandemic. An outbreak that begins in one part of the world now can move quickly to another region on an airplane, as was the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, swine flu in 2009 and Ebola in 2014.
The United States is at particular risk because there is not yet a national plan for preventing and containing the spread of communicable diseases aboard airplanes, according to a recent story for a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In this installment of an ongoing series, reporters Mark Johnson and McKenna Oxenden explored gaps in America’s emergency planning around air travel and infectious diseases. Continue reading
Donald J. Trump
Health IT is getting tangled up in several of President Trump’s executive orders, and with more expected to touch the industry, tech companies and health IT divisions of health care providers will likely face continued uncertainty over staffing and regulations.
The immigration ban
Tech giants including Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have been among the most vocal critics of Trump’s controversial (and possibly unlawful) immigration ban. Continue reading
USA Today‘s Steve Sternberg and Jack Gillum put a new spin on federal Hospital Compare ratings and other hospital quality data, matching the ratings, as well as data on death rates, with popular travel destinations and the locations of state parks. The reporters make the case that travelers should keep hospital quality data in mind when planning vacations.
From the story, which also includes a list of poorly-rated hospitals in travel hotspots:
A USA Today analysis finds two dozen hospitals near popular travel destinations, as compiled by the National Travel Monitor, have death rates among the worst in the USA. A separate analysis shows that one of every four hospitals with high death rates for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia — 94 of 402 — are near state parks.
AHCJ Vice President Charles Ornstein, whose own hospital quality coverage has earned national recognition, recently updated his comprehensive “Road map for covering your local hospital’s quality” tip sheet with links to state-by-state resources and additional nationwide tools for journalists looking into hospital quality.
AHCJ article: Making sense of hospital quality reports
Book: Covering the Quality of Health Care: A Resource Guide for Journalists
Slim guide: Covering Hospitals: Using Tools on the Web
Free online training
On the Beat: Covering Hospitals: An innovative simulation guides you through the sources and resources you need to tackle the beat. You’ll tap into the same tools that you’ll use on the job, and you’ll have a virtual mentor to walk you through the maze of reports, statistics and sources. One story line teaches you about reporting on hospital quality
Investigating hospitals: Find stories with ready-to-use Hospital Compare data: AHCJ has made it easier for journalists to compare hospitals in their regions by generating spreadsheet files from the HHS database, allowing members to compare more than a few hospitals at a time, using spreadsheet or database software. AHCJ provides key documentation and explanatory material to help you understand the data possibilities and limits.
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