Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF Sept. 9, 2016 | Archived Issues

Meetings and Events


Grand Rounds

Click here to view upcoming grand rounds.


Upcoming CME Conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - September 2016 (PDF)  


Milestones

Do you know of a significant event in the life of a medical staff member? Please let us know, and we'll post these milestones in Medical Staff Pulse. Also, feel free to submit comments on milestones, and we'll post the comments in the next issue. Click here to submit your milestones and comments.

Staff Urged to Get Free Flu Shot by Oct. 14

Help Cedars-Sinai protect patients, visitors and colleagues by getting an annual flu vaccination by Friday, Oct. 14. This year, staff working in all patient care areas, including the Medical Network, and those who have business at the main medical center will be required to be vaccinated.

» Read more

Community Resources Fair to Highlight Services

Cedars-Sinai is sponsoring its first Community Resources Fair this month in an effort to better inform doctors, nurses, social workers and other clinicians about the wealth of resources available to help patients. The event will be held Monday, Sept. 19.

» Read more

Precision Health Partnership to Launch Sept. 16

Cedars-Sinai staff members are invited to the launch of Cedars-Sinai Precision Health, a partnership of scientists, clinicians and industry, on Friday, Sept. 16, from noon-1:30 p.m. in Harvey Morse Auditorium. The partnership’s goal is to drive development of the newest technology and best research, coupled with the finest clinical practice, to rapidly deliver precise and personalized healthcare solutions to patients.

» Read more

Resident to Serve as White House Fellow

Cedars-Sinai resident neurosurgeon Lindsey Ross, MD, a member of the Neurological Surgery Residency Program, has won a coveted position as a 2016-17 White House Fellow. Ross will spend the next year in Washington working in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and participating in roundtable discussions with top government leaders, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

» Read more

Medical Staff Can Enter Drawing for Rams Tickets

Thanks to Cedars-Sinai’s new partnership with the Los Angeles Rams, medical staff members with a Cedars-Sinai email address will soon have a chance to score free football tickets and cheer the return of the storied NFL franchise. About 100 tickets per game will be distributed among all Cedars-Sinai staff through a random drawing. Staff members may enter only once and can win only once this season.

» Read more

CS Earns Top Ranking for Patient Survivability

For the eighth consecutive year, Cedars-Sinai has earned the highest ranking from the federal government for patients surviving 30 days after hospitalization based on three common conditions: pneumonia, heart failure and acute myocardial infarction.

» Read more

Chinese Physicians Visit to Increase Collaboration

Physicians from the Dalian Province Healthcare System in northern China visited Cedars-Sinai in mid-August to explore the possibility of increasing collaboration on a teleconsultation link that would include the transfer of clinical data for teleradiology consultation.

» Read more

Creation of Auditorium Mural to Be Discussed

Leo Gordon, MD, medical adviser to the Cedars-Sinai Historical Conservancy, will discuss the creation of the mural "Jewish Contributions to Medicine," which is displayed on the west wall of Harvey Morse Auditorium, on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

» Read more

Change to Sickle Cell Screen

Beginning Monday, Sept. 19, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will run sickle cell screens in the Special Testing Section. The test will be available Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

» Read more

FDA Warns of Combining Opioids, Benzodiazepines

Pharmacy Focus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning about serious side effects, including slowed, difficult breathing and death, resulting from the combined use of opioid medicines and benzodiazepines or other drugs that depress the central nervous system.

» Read more

Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee Approvals

Highlights of the August meeting of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee are summarized in the PDF link below.

Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee Approvals - August 2016 (PDF)

CS-Link Tip: Advance Care Planning Note

cs-link logo

Creating a tab for advance care planning on CS-Link™ is easy and can save physicians time in the future.

» Read more

Staff Urged to Get Free Flu Shot by Oct. 14

Gail Grant, MD, medical director of Resource and Outcomes Management, receives a flu shot from Amanda Mongiello, RN.

Help Cedars-Sinai protect patients, visitors and colleagues by getting an annual flu vaccination by Friday, Oct. 14.

This year, staff working in all patient care areas, including the Medical Network, and those who have business at the main medical center will be required to be vaccinated. Exceptions may be given for those with approved medical exemptions per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu vaccinations are free and will be available to all employees, medical staff and volunteers. Vaccines have been ordered and a schedule of flu clinics will be emailed soon and will be available in future issues of Pulse and on the Intranet homepage.

"This year we hope to exceed the 93 percent vaccination rate that we reached for all employees last year," said Jonathan Grein, MD, director of Hospital Epidemiology. "Getting the flu vaccine is the most important step toward protecting ourselves, our families and our more vulnerable patients, such as those without a strong immune system, from the complications of influenza."

Staff members with a confirmed egg allergy documented with Employee Health Services (EHS) may schedule a vaccination appointment with EHS in My CS-Link™. Green badge buddies will be issued at the time of vaccination, and those who decline vaccination will be issued orange badge buddies.

All badge buddies must be visibly worn by Nov. 1. These HIPAA-compliant badge buddies are the easiest method to ensure that everyone is in compliance with Cedars-Sinai policy and the County of Los Angeles Public Health Order.

Anyone who declines the vaccine will not be permitted to work in any patient-care areas, including the Medical Network or the main medical center, during the flu season, which runs from Nov. 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017.

  • Staff members who work in a patient-care area and decline the vaccine will be eligible to request assignment to a non-patient-care area outside the medical center. While Cedars-Sinai will make efforts to find alternative work, the organization cannot guarantee it will be available. Staff members should be aware that the organization also cannot guarantee shift or location or type of work; flexibility will be expected and appreciated.
  • If other work is not available, a staff member may use accrued PTO/VHS or be on an unpaid leave. However, staff members must make themselves available to work if they are provided another work assignment.

Additionally, staff working in the Davis Research Building, Steven Spielberg Building, Thalians Health Center and the research floors of the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion must be vaccinated. In the main medical center and throughout the Medical Network, staff visiting general public areas, such as lobbies, entrances, eating areas, such as the cafeteria, and pedestrian walkways will be required to be vaccinated.

To request a medical exemption, a staff member must have their medical provider complete the Medical Exemption from Influenza Vaccination form, available from EHS. The request for exemption will be reviewed by a physician panel, which will determine if it meets criteria for an exemption based on CDC guidelines. Please return the completed form to EHS on the second floor of the Spielberg Building by Monday, Oct. 3.

For more information, please call Employee Health Services at 310-423-3322 or Hospital Epidemiology at 310-423-5574. For the Medical Network, please call the infection preventionist at 310-248-7106.

Family members of staff are invited to get free vaccines at the staff family flu and blood pressure screening on Sunday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on the second floor of the Steven Spielberg Building. For more information, please call 310-423-9581.

Community Resources Fair to Highlight Services

Cedars-Sinai is sponsoring its first Community Resources Fair this month in an effort to better inform doctors, nurses, social workers and other clinicians about the wealth of resources available to help patients.

The fair will provide staff an opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from more than 35 community organizations and learn the range of available services. The event will be held as an open house on Monday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m.-2p.m. in Harvey Morse Auditorium.

"We are excited in particular to introduce physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers and related staff to the resources in the community that can support patients and families," said Cindy Levey, MPH, associate director of Community Benefit Systems and Planning. "The Community Resources Fair is a great opportunity to build a better understanding of, and stronger linkages with, our community partners."

Services include detox and substance abuse treatment agencies; shelters, transitional living and permanent housing service providers; mental health and primary care clinics; social services; HIV services; veterans services; Medi-Cal insurance management; and local municipalities.

The list of participating organizations includes:

  • AIDS Project Los Angeles
  • Alcott Center
  • Beit T'Shuvah
  • The Center at Blessed Sacrament (Coordinated Entry System Access Site)
  • City of Beverly Hills
  • City of West Hollywood
  • Clare Foundation
  • Cri-Help Inc.
  • Department of Mental Health SB-82 Mobile Triage Team
  • Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center
  • Friendly House
  • Heritage Clinic
  • Hollywood Mental Health Center
  • Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles
  • Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles
  • L.A. Care Health Plan
  • Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • The Maple Counseling Center
  • Matrix Institute
  • McIntyre House
  • Meals on Wheels
  • New Directions Inc.
  • Our House Grief Support Center
  • Saban Community Clinic
  • Southern California Counseling Center
  • Step Up On Second Inc.
  • Twin Town Treatment Center
  • Venice Family Clinic

For more information, please contact Carolyn Neal, carolyn.neal@cshs.org.

Precision Health Partnership to Launch Sept. 16

Cedars-Sinai staff members are invited to the launch of Cedars-Sinai Precision Health, a partnership of scientists, clinicians and industry, on Friday, Sept. 16, from noon-1:30 p.m. in Harvey Morse Auditorium.

The goal of the partnership is to drive development of the newest technology and best research, coupled with the finest clinical practice, to rapidly deliver precise and personalized healthcare solutions to Cedars-Sinai patients.

The Sept. 16 event will feature presentations by two key leaders in precision health: Lon Cardon, PhD, senior vice president of Alternative Discovery and Development at GlaxoSmithKline, a global healthcare company based in Britain; and Rob Knight, PhD, professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

Other speakers will include: Dermot McGovern, MD, PhD, FRCP(LON), director of Cedars-Sinai Precision Health, professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and director of Translational Medicine at the F. Widjaja Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute; Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD, co-director of Cedars-Sinai Precision Health, director of Basic Science Research in the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center and director of the Advanced Clinical Biosystems Institute; and Clive Svendsen, PhD, professor and director of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute.

Cedars-Sinai Precision Health will integrate and employ scientific advances derived from big data to provide therapeutic and diagnostic tools that clinicians need to significantly impact patient care. Through an open and flexible approach across disease states and technologies, the partnership seeks to create frameworks to develop creative and value-driven solutions to treat disease and promote health.

At the launch event, box lunches will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please contact dermot.mcgovern@csmc.edu or jennifer.vaneyk@cshs.org.

Precision Health Launch - Sept. 16, 2016 (PDF)  

Resident to Serve as White House Fellow

Cedars-Sinai resident neurosurgeon Lindsey Ross, MD, a member of the Neurological Surgery Residency Program, has won a coveted position as a 2016-17 White House Fellow.

Ross will spend the next year in Washington working in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and participating in roundtable discussions with top government leaders, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

"I feel so grateful for this opportunity. I know I will learn a great deal about healthcare, leadership and policymaking next year, which I hope to bring back to Cedars-Sinai and the greater Los Angeles community that we serve," Ross said.

The White House Fellows Program was founded in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to offer leaders firsthand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. Graduates include former Secretary of State Colin Powell, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and CNN medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, MD.

"Ross is one of the best students I have ever had," said Julia Y. Ljubimova, MD, PhD, director of the Nanomedicine Research Center in the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery. "I have no doubt that she will make an exceptional addition to the group of intellectual elite individuals selected to the White House Fellows Program and help to improve the fabric of the healthcare industry in the U.S."

As a first-year medical school student at UCLA, Ross was a Denzel and Pauletta Washington Family Gifted Scholar at Cedars-Sinai in 2008. She worked in the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute laboratories of Ljubimova. In this role, she assisted with research on developing an innovative delivery system that uses a combination of tiny drugs that pass through the blood-brain barrier to target hard-to-reach cancers.

Ross started her neurosurgical residency at Cedars-Sinai in 2012. Her education in neurosurgery has included rotations in trauma surgery, neurocritical care and subspecialty areas of neurology. In addition to her residency, Ross serves on the Cedars-Sinai medical education and house staff committees, where she has worked on quality improvement projects related to patient care.

Ross said the knowledge and lessons gained from her time at Cedars-Sinai have well prepared her for working in the White House Fellows Program. As a resident, Ross said she has learned how to communicate sensitive information to patients, maintain emotional poise and control, and utilize critical thinking in stressful situations. She also has acquired a host of other essential abilities to be an effective neurosurgeon and leader.

"Many of the skills you build as a physician are also essential to be an effective leader," said Ross. "You learn to listen to your patients, synthesize subjective and objective information and, as a surgeon, have an unrelenting focus on the task at hand because someone's life depends on it."

Medical Staff Can Enter Drawing for Rams Tickets


The Los Angeles Rams run practice at their training facility in Irvine. Cedars-Sinai is the official partner of the Rams.

Thanks to Cedars-Sinai’s new partnership with the Los Angeles Rams, medical staff members with a Cedars-Sinai email address will soon have a chance to score free football tickets and cheer the return of the storied NFL franchise.

About 100 tickets per game will be distributed among all Cedars-Sinai staff through a random drawing. Staff members may enter only once and can win only once this season.

After submitting the proper information online, a staff member will automatically be entered to win tickets to each of the Rams seven home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum this season. Winners will be notified by email and will receive two tickets and a co-branded T-shirt. Unclaimed tickets will be forfeited and will be passed on to the next drawn name.

An initial drawing will be held Wednesday, Sept. 14, before the Rams' first regular season home game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Sept. 18. The rest of the winners will be chosen in a drawing on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Winners will be notified by email shortly after both drawings.

In August, Cedars-Sinai and the Rams announced their partnership and plans to promote health and wellness for children and families across the region. Cedars-Sinai will team up with the Rams to host local events for Play 60, the NFL’s national campaign to encourage kids to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.

On game days, Cedars-Sinai will serve as a presenting sponsor of the Kids Zone at all Rams home games, a fun and interactive play are that will be open during pregame just outside the Coliseum in the Rams Fan Fest area.

"We are delighted that Cedars-Sinai staff members will be in the stands for the historic homecoming season of the Los Angeles Rams," said Andy Ortiz, senior vice president of Human Resources and Organization Development.

To participate in the drawing for the Rams tickets, fill out a brief online form.

CS Earns Top Ranking for Patient Survivability

For the eighth consecutive year, Cedars-Sinai has earned the highest ranking from the federal government for patients surviving 30 days after hospitalization based on three conditions: pneumonia, heart failure and acute myocardial infarction.

Cedars-Sinai was "Better than the National Rate" for the three conditions, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Cedars-Sinai is one of only four hospitals nationwide to earn the distinction since the agency began publicly reporting the measures in 2008.

Cedars-Sinai has earned the same ranking for its mortality rate after stroke since the agency began reporting that measure three years ago.

The rankings are significant because they indicate consistent and reliable delivery of high-quality care across a wide variety of patients.

To accurately compare performance among hospitals, the mortality measures adjust for patient characteristics based on varying degrees of illness. These factors include age, gender and comorbidities present on admission. The 30-day window is considered a helpful gauge because most mortalities that occur within this time frame are believed to reflect the quality of care provided during hospitalization.

Chinese Physicians Visit to Increase Collaboration

Physicians from the Dalian Province Healthcare System in northern China are shown on their recent visit to Cedars-Sinai. Along with the Chinese delegation are Yichen (Kate) Jiang, team leader with the Center for International Health, (far left) Spencer K. Koerner, MD, vice president and medical director for the Center for International Health, (fourth from left) and Peter Julien, MD, chief of Thoracic Imaging (fifth from left).

Physicians from the Dalian Province Healthcare System in northern China visited Cedars-Sinai in mid-August to explore the possibility of increasing collaboration on a teleconsultation link that would include the transfer of clinical data for teleradiology consultation.

Organized by Peter J. Julien, MD, chief of Thoracic Imaging, the visit by seven Chinese physicians focused on Cedars-Sinai's imaging capabilities that support Cedars-Sinai's many innovative programs — especially those in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology and orthopedics.

"Each of these departments works closely with Imaging to provide streamlined care that results in excellent outcomes for our patients," said Julien.

Under the collaboration, data and images from China are transmitted to Cedars-Sinai's Imaging Department via advanced, secure telecommunications technology. This enables physicians in China to consult with specialists at Cedars-Sinai on complex cases, and could ultimately lead to the transfer of patients to Cedars-Sinai.

Beyond transmitting images, Julien provided information on Cedars-Sinai's tumor ablation program and other nonsurgical approaches to treating some types of cancer. He also spoke about the importance of integrating Eastern and Western medicine.

The daylong program included a lunchtime video workshop led by Wenchao Tao and Brad Penenberg, MD. The workshop demonstrated Cedars-Sinai's orthopedic surgery and network development capabilities.

Speakers included Julien; Spencer Koerner, MD, director of the Center for International Health; Lynne Roy, director of the Department of Imaging; Robert Figlin, MD, Steven Spielberg Family Chair in Hematology Oncology; Peter Chen, MD, director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care; Howard Sandler, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology; and Bruce Gewertz, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery.

Gewertz also provided information on PreferUS Healthcare, which has partnered with Cedars-Sinai to broaden exposure in China and provide physicians with access to Cedars-Sinai's research, specialists and advanced technology. Cedars-Sinai has a representative in China who works to coordinate patient visits to Cedars-Sinai.

"Our goal is to build strong, sustainable working relationships with our fellow physicians in China," said Gewertz, who is also chair of the board of PreferUS Healthcare. "This goes directly to the heart of our mission."

Creation of Auditorium Mural to Be Discussed

Leo Gordon, MD, medical adviser to the Cedars-Sinai Historical Conservancy, will discuss the creation of the mural "Jewish Contributions to Medicine," which is displayed on the west wall of Harvey Morse Auditorium, on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Other topics to be featured include an explanation of the only black-and-white representation on the mural and the medical contributions of Abraham Flexner, Jesse Lazear and Rosalyn Yalow. Also, the Salk-Sabin polio vaccine contributions and competition will be discussed.

Registration for the event in Harvey Morse Auditorium begins at 6 p.m. The 45-minute program starts at 6:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 for the public, and $5 for Cedars-Sinai staff and volunteers.

The event is sponsored by the Cedars-Sinai Alumni Association and medical staff.

Change to Sickle Cell Screen

Beginning Monday, Sept. 19, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will run sickle cell screens in the Special Testing Section.

The test will be available Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

With questions regarding this change, please contact Delma Ines or Allan Gayacao of the Special Testing Section at 310-423-5571.

FDA Warns of Combining Opioids, Benzodiazepines

Pharmacy Focus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning about serious side effects, including slowed, difficult breathing and death, resulting from the combined use of opioid medicines and benzodiazepines or other drugs that depress the central nervous system. The FDA is recommending healthcare professionals limit prescribing opioid pain medicines with benzodiazepines to patients for whom alternative treatments are inadequate.

The FDA website has more information.

Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee Approvals

CS-Link Tip: Advance Care Planning Note

Creating a tab for advance care planning on CS-Link™ is easy and can save physicians time in the future.

First, go to the bottom left of the screen and find "More Activities." Click or hover over the little triangle, and you will see different note types. Next, click inside the star, which should turn it yellow and will keep it easily accessible.

On the screen's left side, there will be "Advance Care Planning," which needs to be attached to the note tab. To the right of "Advanced Care Planning," click on a tab labeled "Move." Move the "Advance Care Planning" note to the sidebar. Beside the progress note, an "Advance Care Planning" tab has been created.