sutures newsletter

PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY December 2017 | Archived Issues

President's Perspective

By Thomas M. Priselac
President and CEO

Accessibility to our services for patients and consumers is one of the three imperatives for Cedars-Sinai that I outlined in June’s President’s Perspective:

  • Retain our absolute commitment to quality;
  • Make our services more geographically and virtually accessible to patients and consumers; and
  • Fulfill our obligation to make healthcare affordable through operational and clinical efficiency work.

No matter how outstanding, efficient and appropriate Cedars-Sinai’s patient care is, if it is not accessible, we are not fulfilling our mission to the public.

For decades in America, most healthcare providers operated under the principle that patients would come to them on the provider’s terms. The provider would be in a single location (as a hospital or a physician’s office), would determine when and how they would be available to see patients, and it was the patient’s responsibility to make any adjustments needed to fit the provider’s setup.

Today, both patients and healthcare providers benefit from ever-expanding ways to make care more accessible. At Cedars-Sinai, this has been a key component of our strategy and takes many different forms, including geographically distributed primary and specialty care locations, digital access to our services and expansion of urgent care.

Geographic expansion

A decade ago, Cedars-Sinai consisted of our flagship medical center and several nearby buildings for outpatient visits and procedures (the 310 Building, Mark Goodson Building, Medical Network offices and licensed space in the Medical Office Towers). Then, as now, people were willing to drive (and fly) great distances for our renowned tertiary and quaternary services. But for all other medical needs, most people prefer to get that care closer to where they live or work.

To help meet the growing community demand for Cedars-Sinai care closer to home or work, several years ago, we began expanding our locations; and we're doing this in a variety of ways:

Medical Network offices: Starting a few years back with the opening of a primary/urgent care facility in Culver City, Cedars-Sinai Medical Network has since opened facilities in Playa Vista and Tarzana, providing both primary and urgent care as well as a variety of specialty services. The largest one, in the new Runway Playa Vista retail/residential center, just opened and has quickly become a healthcare destination for local residents.

Affiliate offices: Many prominent medical practices throughout Southern California continue to join the Cedars-Sinai Medical Network, which further expands our geographic footprint and makes Cedars-Sinai care more accessible. These groups include primary care practices in the San Fernando Valley; oncology practices in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Tarzana and Beverly Hills; and two of the nation’s most prominent sports medicine/orthopedics groups, now known as the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, with offices throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Joint ventures: Among our more visible joint ventures is the 138-bed California Rehabilitation Institute in Century City, a joint venture between Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Health and Select Medical. Other joint ventures include several freestanding outpatient surgery centers and freestanding imaging centers.

Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital: With the growing outpatient presence of Medical Network offices throughout the Silicon Beach area (Culver City, Playa Vista, Marina del Rey, Westchester), the availability of a nearby community hospital that is part of the same system provides an important piece of healthcare for the local community.

Our proposed affiliation with Torrance Memorial has the potential to facilitate many different collaborations between the two institutions, extending the geographic reach of both. Based on the success of our collaboration with Torrance Memorial's telestroke program, we anticipate many other opportunities to expand access to clinical trials and other specialized care.

Digital access

The launch of My CS-Link™ enabled our patients to access their health information online, ask their physicians questions any time and get test results. But that was just the beginning. Today, we are piloting a number of new ways to enable our patients to digitally access our care and expertise from wherever they are. The entry points for consumers to all of these services are the Cedars-Sinai website and flagship mobile app, both of which are undergoing major enhancements/overhauls to provide a simpler, easy-to-use interface and tools for consumers.

Expanded urgent care

Urgent care centers — providing immediate access to non-emergency but time-sensitive care — have become increasingly popular with consumers around the country. The demand for Cedars-Sinai urgent care has been significant, with all three of the Medical Network’s urgent care centers (Beverly Hills, Culver City and Playa Vista) keeping very busy. For some consumers, a visit to a Cedars-Sinai urgent care center is their first experience with us and becomes the start of a long-term relationship.

There are literally hundreds of other ways we facilitate access to healthcare for the public, including many of our community benefit programs — providing health education as well as screenings and immunizations to underserved residents in their communities.

In the months and years to come, we will continue to enhance access, in many different ways, to meet the growing regional demand. It is clear that the community wants the outstanding care that Cedars-Sinai provides, and it is our job to help them access it.

Closely related to access is our third imperative — affordability. If people (and other payers) cannot afford our care, then they won’t be able to access it, no matter how close it is. In my next Perspective, I’ll share some thoughts on how we can fulfill our obligation to make healthcare affordable through operational and clinical efficiency work.