Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

medical staff pulse newsletter

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Acetylcysteine Shortage, Benzocaine Product Risks

Pharmacy Focus

- Update to Fluoroquinolones Boxed Warning

- Shortage of Acetylcysteine 10% 100mg/ml Solution for Nebulization

- Benzocaine Topical Products: Risk of Methemoglobinemia

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Meetings and Events

Women and Ischemic Heart Disease Symposium
April 29

Annual Basketball Game
May 15

Clinical and Translational Research Workshop
Applications due June 1

» Read more

Click here to view upcoming Grand Rounds.

Share Your News

Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

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Volume Surge Reflects Confidence in Cedars-Sinai

April 2011

Thomas M. Priselac
President and CEO

The surge in patient volume we've experienced since January has had a significant impact on medical staff and employees throughout the Medical Center – including not only those involved directly in patient care, but all of you whose support is crucial to providing high quality, compassionate care for our patients. Many of you have taken on extra hours and additional duties during this period, and I appreciate how hard you've been working to make sure our patients' needs are met.

We've determined that this surge is not related to flu season, nor is it being experienced as much by other hospitals in the area. It appears to be primarily a result of Cedars-Sinai's growing reputation for delivering the best care in a number of specialized areas. I believe it's also a sign that our initiatives to improve quality and safety, the strength of our medical staff, as well as the growth of our Medical Delivery Network, are making a difference in the number of patients who choose to come to Cedars-Sinai.

While it's rewarding to see a high level of confidence in the care we provide, a sustained surge presents challenges that call for long-term as well as short-term solutions. Our first priority is to be prepared to respond immediately when patient volume reaches a certain level. We closely monitor our census and move quickly to hire more nurses on a temporary basis and expand units to inpatient care when we experience a surge. Other short-term solutions include making temporary adjustments in the Emergency Department to create room for more patients and working with physicians to encourage safe and appropriate discharges before 11 a.m. We also rely on many of you to continue to pitch in wherever the need is greatest.

While addressing immediate needs, we're exploring long-term solutions. For example, we're analyzing the Medical Center's bed capacity to determine how we can accommodate more patients. Meanwhile, a construction project to expand our Emergency Department bed capacity is now underway. We're also looking into other ways to increase our capacity, including improving patient flow from the ED to the floors, increasing the efficiency of our discharge process and making ancillary services available around the clock.

I'm very impressed by the level of dedication that has been evident throughout the Medical Center at all hours of the day and night during this period of unusually high patient volume. Our clinical, support and management staff have worked closely together in many ways that demonstrate a deep commitment to our institution's core values. When we say patients come first, we mean it. It's not surprising that Cedars-Sinai is the preferred destination for a growing number of patients. The degree to which our core values are expressed every day results in a special brand of quality care that sets Cedars-Sinai apart in this region and attracts patients from other parts of the nation and the world.

One of our greatest strengths as an institution is an openness to new ideas. When we're facing challenges, we depend on everyone to look for solutions and share insights or suggestions. Please let me know if you have any thoughts about how we can respond more effectively to surges in patient volume. Thank you for your flexibility during the past few months and, especially, for your determination to do whatever it takes to maintain the highest standards in patient care.