Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF August 9, 2019 | Archived Issues

Letter From President and CEO: Gun Violence

The three tragic, senseless mass shootings that have occurred in just a week's time have affected not only the families who have lost loved ones, but all of us throughout the nation who have seen this situation repeat itself with increasing frequency over the past decade. Our collective pain is multiplied because many of these shootings have been fueled by racial or religious hatred.

» Read more

Cedars-Sinai Ranked No. 8 Nationally

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center once again has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in the nation. The medical center ranked No. 8 nationally in the magazine's "Best Hospitals 2019-20" analysis, matching its rank from last year among a select group of 20 Honor Roll hospitals.

» Read more

Learn About Medical Mission to Guatemala on Aug. 18

Employees interested in participating in Cedars-Sinai's annual medical mission to Guatemala next year are invited to attend a recruitment meeting on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 10-11 a.m. in NTC-B. The 2020 mission will take place Feb. 15-24.

» Read more

Physician Wellness Tip: No Smoking

There are bad habits and there are bad habits. When people smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes, they're not just hurting themselves. Every exhale puts more than 250 dangerous chemicals into the air. Secondhand smoke, like smoking itself, is a risk factor for four leading causes of death in the U.S. These include heart disease, cancer, respiratory illness and stroke.

» Read more

President's Award Ceremony Is Aug. 14

Cedars-Sinai will honor 18 employees with the President's Award on Aug. 14 at 3 p.m. in Harvey Morse Auditorium. The President's Award is the most prestigious award of recognition at Cedars-Sinai. 

» Read more

Deadline for Award Nominations Is Aug. 12

A call for nominations is now open for the Pioneer in Medicine and Master Clinician awards, which will be presented during the annual meeting of the medical staff on Oct. 14, 2019. All medical staff members are eligible to participate, with a panel selecting the winners. Please read more to review criteria and instructions before submitting your nominations.

» Read more

Hollywood Event May Impact Traffic On Aug. 18

A civic event meant to transform streets in West Hollywood, Hollywood and East Hollywood into public residential space on Sunday, Aug. 18, could affect commutes to Cedars-Sinai. Road closures may begin as early as 6 a.m. and may last until 6 p.m. More information is available on the event's website.

» Read more

New Barcode System to Track Surgical Sponges

Cedars-Sinai will be fitting all medical center operating rooms, and several other procedural areas, with a new tracking system with a goal to eliminate retained surgical items (RSI). The system will track sponges—the most common RSI—by scanning and recording unique barcodes on each sponge before use during a procedure.

» Read more

FDA Warns About Xeljanz XR

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved new warnings about an increased risk of blood clots and death with the 10-mg, twice-daily dose of tofacitinib (Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR), which is used in patients with ulcerative colitis.

» Read more

Annual Sand 'N Snore Set for Sept. 6

Sand 'N Snore is just around the corner. The dinner, sleepover and breakfast are slated to begin Friday, Sept. 6, at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica. To reserve a place, contact Cheryl Verne at 310-423-2681 or cheryl.verne@cshs.org.

» Read more

CS-Link Tip: Shortcuts For Macs

CS-Link-co.jpg

One of the most useful tools in CS-Link™ is the use of keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts can turn your keyboard from a writing tool into a command center for your computer. For Apple users, the proprietary keys offer a host of great shortcuts to make your workday easier.

» Read more

Letter From President and CEO: Gun Violence

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Thomas M. Priselac, President and CEO

The three tragic, senseless mass shootings that have occurred in just a week's time have affected not only the families who have lost loved ones, but all of us throughout the nation who have seen this situation repeat itself with increasing frequency over the past decade. Our collective pain is multiplied because many of these shootings have been fueled by racial or religious hatred.

When senseless things occur over and over, there can be a tendency to grow numb and feel helpless. And gun violence is not limited to mass shootings: Each year, 38,000 people in the United States die as a result of gun violence, and almost 85,000 more suffer non-fatal gun injuries. The epidemic of gun violence and hatred we are seeing throughout the nation can seem like an insurmountable problem. Yet it is precisely at these times that it is more important than ever to care for each other, our community and our nation.

As with previous epidemics (such as polio or AIDS), an important initial step is a shared understanding that the epidemic threatens the nation's health, so an urgent, effective response is necessary. Complacency or hopelessness means wasted time and more avoidable deaths. The American Public Health Association has an informative fact sheet about gun violence and recommendations to increase its prevention; The American College of Physicians published last year a position paper on preventing gun violence and what actions physicians and others can do to help.

For any Cedars-Sinai employees or their immediate family members who would like support in dealing with the emotional challenges of the recurring mass shootings in our nation (or any other issue, for that matter), our Work and Life Matters team is always available for confidential, no-cost consultation.

Because Cedars-Sinai's goal is health and wellbeing for all, violence and hatred are the antithesis of our mission. Through everyone's efforts and the work you do each day caring for our patients and community, I am optimistic about a brighter, more peaceful future.

 

 

Cedars-Sinai Ranked No. 8 Nationally

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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center once again has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in the nation. The medical center ranked No. 8 nationally in the magazine's "Best Hospitals 2019-20" analysis, matching its rank from last year among a select group of 20 Honor Roll hospitals.

Cedars-Sinai also ranked No. 2 in Southern California and No. 3 in the state.

The U.S. News rankings are based on a variety of measures, including patient outcomes, patient experience, technology and reputation (according to surveyed physicians).

The medical center had 12 specialties ranked nationally in the hospital rankings released Monday. The specialty rankings mean that Cedars-Sinai is among the top 50 hospitals in the nation in these specific areas.

Six of the specialties ranked in the top 10 in the U.S.: cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and GI surgery, gynecology, nephrology, orthopaedics, and pulmonology and lung surgery. Five other specialties ranked in the top 20: cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, geriatrics, neurology and neurosurgery, and urology.

Nine of the 12 specialties saw their rankings rise from last year, and four were among the top five nationally: cardiology and heart surgery (No. 3), gastroenterology and GI surgery (No. 2), orthopaedics (No. 3) and pulmonology and lung surgery (No. 4).

The 12 Cedars-Sinai specialties ranked nationally:

  • Cancer (No. 12)
  • Cardiology and Heart Surgery (No. 3)
  • Diabetes and Endocrinology (No. 16)
  • Ear, Nose and Throat (No. 38)
  • Gastroenterology and GI Surgery (No. 2)
  • Geriatrics (No. 12)
  • Gynecology (No. 8)
  • Nephrology (No. 10)
  • Neurology and Neurosurgery (No. 12)
  • Orthopaedics (No. 3)
  • Pulmonology and Lung Surgery (No. 4)
  • Urology (No. 12)

"The U.S. News rankings are a public recognition of the dedication our staff brings to our patients every day and a reflection of our contributions to advancing the science of medicine and healthcare delivery," said Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO. "We are proud of these results and remain committed to expanding our research, education and support in our community." 

Learn About Medical Mission to Guatemala on Aug. 18

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For many residents, a visit from Cedars-Sinai medical professionals marks their only access to healthcare all year.

Employees interested in participating in Cedars-Sinai's annual medical mission to Guatemala next year are invited to attend a recruitment meeting on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 10-11 a.m. in NTC-B. The 2020 mission will take place Feb. 15-24.

Information on how to volunteer, as well as what the mission entails, will be available. People from all positions are encouraged to attend.

"We are looking for volunteers from a variety of work experiences and backgrounds to attend," said Jim Laur, vice president of Legal and Technology Affairs. "We need doctors and nurses, but just as important are people who can speak Spanish, can cook, are willing to clean or provide a variety of other support to the team's activities."

The mission is in partnership with HELPS International, a nonprofit group that organizes a wide range of volunteer activities in Guatemala. Volunteers have to use vacation time for the 10-day trip, and they pay for their own transportation.

"It is a meaningful and impactful trip for everyone who volunteers," Laur said. "You witness the direct impact you have on these people's lives."

The Cedars-Sinai team, which consists of roughly 80 people, travels to a rural village with equipment and supplies, where they set up a clinic and an operating room. The team sees hundreds of patients, most of whom have no access to healthcare.

For more information, contact Olivia Marroquin at oliviamr531@gmail.com.

Physician Wellness Tip: No Smoking

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There are bad habits and there are bad habits. When people smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes, they're not just hurting themselves. Every exhale puts more than 250 dangerous chemicals into the air.

Secondhand smoke, like smoking itself, is a risk factor for four leading causes of death in the U.S. These include heart disease, cancer, respiratory illness and stroke.

Children who breathe secondhand smoke are especially at risk. They have higher rates of sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems and severe asthma. So protect yourself. If someone’s blowing smoke your way, walk away. No amount of smoke is safe.

For more information, visit Cedars-Sinai’s Smoking Cessation Program website

President's Award Ceremony Is Aug. 14

Presidents Award Logo
Cedars-Sinai will honor 18 employees with the President's Award on Aug. 14 at 3 p.m. in Harvey Morse Auditorium.

The following is a list of recipients and the approximate time honorees will receive their awards.

3 p.m.—Professional and Support Services

  • Arturo Amaral, Mark Taper Imaging Center
  • Shima Hashemzadeh, CPT, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Mona Malik, Pharmacy

3:10 p.m.—Service Line Operations

  • Gedion Asfaw, Smidt Heart Institute
  • Michelle Demond, Enterprise Information Services/Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Walter Morales, Department of Medicine/Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program
  • Dan Sabin, MSN, MBA, Neurosciences

3:20 p.m.—Nursing

  • Loida Gonzales, 4 Southeast
  • Violeta Husain, BSN, RN, 8 Southeast
  • Steven Iglesias, BSN, RN-BC, IV Team
  • Maria "Malou" Ludovina Maalat, 8 North
  • Bevin Merideth, MSN, RNC-NIC, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

3:35 p.m.—Medical Network

  • Godeleva Contreras, Human Resources/Medical Network
  • Cristina Portillo-Via, MHA, MSW, LCSW, Care Management and Social Work/Medical Network

3:40 p.m.—System Support

  • Pablo Avalos, MD, Regenerative Medicine Institute
  • Dorina Giurgiulescu, MSN, RN-BC, Medical Affairs
  • Armen Haroutoonian, Facilities Planning, Design and Construction
  • Vicky Miyashiro, MHA, Enterprise Information Services

The President's Award is the most prestigious award of recognition at Cedars-Sinai. Nominated employees must have been employed by Cedars-Sinai for at least one year and demonstrate a combination of the following:

  • Creativity and innovation
  • First-rate problem-solving abilities
  • Exceptional collaborative skills
  • Exceptional professionalism, kindness and/or responsiveness

On the intranet: past honorees and criteria for nomination.

 

Deadline for Award Nominations Is Aug. 12

A call for nominations is now open for the Pioneer in Medicine and Master Clinician awards, which will be presented during the annual meeting of the medical staff on Oct. 14, 2019. All medical staff members are eligible to participate, with a panel selecting the winners.

The deadline for submissions is August 12, 2019. Please review the criteria and instructions below before submitting your nominations.

The Pioneer in Medicine Award

This award is given to a member of the medical staff who has made clinical and research contributions recognized at Cedars-Sinai and in the national or international medical communities. The criteria for candidates for the Pioneer in Medicine award are set forth in the Rules and Regulations of the Medical Staff, Article XXVI, Section 26.1(c) as follows:

  • The candidate shall have made a major contribution to the medical center.
  • The candidate shall be or have been involved in research.
  • The candidate shall have been published in national or international peer-reviewed journals.
  • The candidate shall be a teacher and a positive role model.
  • The candidate shall be an innovator or have changed the medical world around him or her.
  • The candidate shall have made clinical contributions recognized nationally.
  • The candidate shall have been a physician at the medical center during a major part of his or her career.

Master Clinician Award (New)

The award is separate and distinct from the Pioneer in Medicine Award. The master clinician candidate shall have an outstanding reputation and clinical expertise. Additionally, the candidate shall have demonstrated a major impact on advancing healthcare at Cedars-Sinai and the community. The criteria for candidates for the master clinician award are set forth in the Rules and Regulations of the Medical Staff, Article XXV, as follows:

  • The candidate shall have spent the majority of their career at Cedars-Sinai.
  • The candidate shall be a renowned clinician with an established reputation and demonstrated expertise who has made a substantive contribution to patient care at Cedars-Sinai.
  • The candidate shall have contributed clinical innovation that has improved patient care in a significant and systemic way at Cedars-Sinai.
  • The candidate shall have demonstrated community activism and educational efforts that advanced healthcare and the wellbeing of the Cedars-Sinai community.
  • The candidate shall have made contributions recognized at a national level by specialty societies or specialty boards.
  • The candidate shall represent the paragon of collegiality who fosters collaboration to offer best possible patient care.
  • The candidate shall have committee service at Cedars-Sinai.

Nominations

To submit a nomination for either award, please include a letter detailing your nominee's qualifications, key contributions and major accomplishments, as well as a copy of your nominee’s curriculum vitae. You can email these documents to monique.araya@cshs.org, or by mail to:

Monique Araya, MD
Vice Chief of Staff, Cedars-Sinai
8700 Beverly Blvd., Suite 2211
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Attention: Jenna Renella

For more information, contact jenna.renella@cshs.org.



 

Hollywood Event May Impact Traffic On Aug. 18

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A civic event meant to transform streets in West Hollywood, Hollywood and East Hollywood into public residential space on Sunday, Aug. 18, could affect commutes to Cedars-Sinai. Road closures may begin as early as 6 a.m. and may last until 6 p.m.

Portions of Hollywood Boulevard, Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard will be closed to traffic from as early as 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit the event's website.

New Barcode System to Track Surgical Sponges

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A new tracking system will be implemented later this year to help eliminate retained surgical items.

Cedars-Sinai will be fitting all medical center operating rooms, and several other procedural areas, with a new tracking system with a goal to eliminate retained surgical items (RSI).

The SurgiCount System will track sponges—the most common RSI—by scanning and recording unique barcodes on each sponge before use during a procedure. The system will then alert the surgical team if the same sponges are not scanned out before the patient leaves the operating table. Staff members will interact with the system using a touchscreen display.

"Manual processes are susceptible to potential error and can lead to a retained surgical item," said Edward G. Seferian, MD, chief patient safety officer. "It's an ongoing challenge for surgical teams everywhere. And while these instances are extremely rare, delivering world-class quality and safety to our patients demands we take advantage of the latest technology to eliminate these events altogether."

Alfonso Chicas, executive director of Perioperative Services, said that the new system would provide "supplementary support consistent with current trends to reduce the risk of human error."

"In an environment where increasingly complex procedures are being performed, including transplants and multispecialty surgical cases, we are excited to be able to provide additional support to our staff,” Chicas said.

Rollout of the new system will begin in October with initial implementation in the main operating rooms, and all sponges will be replaced with barcoded sponges in the coming weeks. Clinical staff members also will undergo hands-on training for use of the new system, with details to follow.

For more information, contact alfonso.chicas@cshs.org.

FDA Warns About Xeljanz XR

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new warnings about an increased risk of blood clots and death with the 10-mg, twice-daily dose of tofacitinib (Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR), which is used in patients with ulcerative colitis. The warning follows a review of interim data from an ongoing safety trial of tofacitinib in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

The FDA website has more information.

Annual Sand 'N Snore Set for Sept. 6

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Campfires on the beach are part of the annual Sand 'N Snore.

Sand 'N Snore is just around the corner.

The dinner, sleepover and breakfast are slated to begin Friday, Sept. 6, at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica. (The club has restrooms and hot showers.) Those who don't want to sleep on the sand are welcome to enjoy dinner and the evening with colleagues and their families. Food and entertainment are provided, but physicians must bring their own tent and equipment.

Tickets for the whole event are $65 per adult and $45 for each child under 12. Tickets for Friday's dinner only are $50 per adult and $25 for each child under 12.

To reserve a place, contact Cheryl Verne at 310-423-2681 or cheryl.verne@cshs.org.

CS-Link Tip: Shortcuts For Macs

One of the most useful tools in CS-Link™ is the use of keyboard shortcuts.

Shortcuts can turn your keyboard from a writing tool into a command center for your computer. For Apple users, the proprietary keys offer a host of great shortcuts to make your workday easier.

Of course it's important to know how to right click—one of the easiest ways is to hold down the control key while clicking on your mouse. You can find more shortcuts here.

To learn more, attend a CS-Link Efficiency and Review for Physicians meeting on the second Thursday of each month. The classes, which begin at 7:30 a.m., are held in PEC 4.

If you have questions, contact groupeisphysicians@cshs.org.