Cedars-Sinai

Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

Leadership Series: Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital

Watch the next video from a series featuring executive leaders talking about the institution's most important goals and initiatives. This week, Joanne Laguna-Kennedy, MSN, RN, CENP, talks about Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital and its future. Laguna-Kennedy is vice president of Hospital Operations and chief nursing officer at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.

» Read more

New Incident Reporting System Now Live

Cedars-Sinai's new incident reporting system, CS-Safe, is live. The system is used for the reporting and follow-up of safety events and near misses, as well as good catches, that affect patients, staff and visitors. "All staff have a responsibility to the entire Cedars-Sinai community to report safety events and concerns," said David R. Marshall, JD, DNP, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive.

» Read more

Core Labs Achieve Elite Certification

The Core Laboratories within the Department of Pathology and Medicine recently became the first clinical lab in the state to receive an elite designation for quality performance. The Core Labs were awarded a Six Sigma Certification during a Dec. 18 ceremony at Cedars-Sinai, which was officiated by Sten Westgard of Westgard QC, the company that manages the Six Sigma Laboratory Certification Program.

» Read more

King Speaker Urges Audience to Stand for Civil Rights

Motivational speaker Rick Rigsby, PhD, addressed hundreds of staff and visitors inside a packed Harvey Morse Auditorium at Cedars-Sinai's 18th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 20. The speaker urged the audience to honor the legacy of the civil rights leaders by continuing to press for change. 

» Read more

Five Question Survey for Physicians

Many Cedars-Sinai doctors treat patients from foreign countries, and some undoubtedly are involved in international educational and research programs or other initiatives outside of the U.S. To gauge the extent of those global ties, Cedars-Sinai International this month is distributing a five-question survey to physicians throughout the organization. To complete the survey online, click on this link.

» Read more

Human Trafficking Task Force Volunteers

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month—an opportunity to raise awareness about the $150 billion industry and the efforts at Cedars-Sinai to educate healthcare providers and support possible victims. 

» Read more

Surgical Item Tracking System to Roll Out Jan. 27

Cedars-Sinai will soon start fitting operating rooms with a new tracking system that aims to eliminate retained soft good surgical items (RSI). The SurgiCount System will be used to track sponges—the most common RSI—by scanning and recording QR codes on each sponge before and after use during a procedure. 

» Read more

'Since You Asked': On-site Gym, Daycare and More

Since You Asked has gone digital, and The Bridge is now publishing answers to employee questions as a regular feature. Please email questions to SinceYouAsked@cshs.org. This issue's questions deal with an on-site gym, daycare facilities and vacation accural for long-term employees.

» Read more

FDA Warns About Possible Cancer Risk With Weight Drug Lorcaserin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting the public that results from a clinical trial assessing safety show a possible increased risk of cancer with the weight management medicine Belviq, Belviq XR (lorcaserin). 

» Read more

CS-Link Tip: In Basket Reminders Sent to Email

A couple months ago, the Patient Reminder List feature in CS-Link™ was covered in order to help you keep track of tasks related to a patient. Another useful reminder tool is the ability to send yourself reminder emails of unread In Basket messages. This tool is not limited to internal email addresses and can be convenient, especially if you do not access CS-Link on a daily basis.

» Read more

Leadership Series: Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital

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Watch the next video in a series featuring executive leaders talking about the institution's most important goals and initiatives. This week, Joanne Laguna-Kennedy, MSN, RN, CENP, talks about Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital and its future. Laguna-Kennedy is vice president of Hospital Operations and chief nursing officer at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.

Want to see more of the Leadership Video Series? Click here to meet Cedars-Sinai’s executive leaders, hear their insights and learn more about the role you play in fulfilling Cedars-Sinai’s mission. Past video topics include people, operational efficiency, patient care, hospital flow and service.

New Incident Reporting System Now Live

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Cedars-Sinai's new incident reporting system, CS-Safe, is live. The system is used for the reporting and follow-up of safety events and near misses, as well as good catches, that affect patients, staff and visitors.

"All staff have a responsibility to the entire Cedars-Sinai community to report safety events and concerns," said David R. Marshall, JD, DNP, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive.

The new system supports the organization’s overall commitment to clinical quality, safety and enhanced patient outcomes, said Rekha Murthy, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs and associate chief medical officer.

"CS-Safe is an important tool that will enhance our reporting culture to enable a better understanding of system and process-improvement opportunities for delivering the highest quality and safety in patient care," Murthy said. "Data from CS-Safe also will help to inform many aspects of our clinical quality programs."

All staff and physicians have access to CS-Safe and are asked to report safety concerns and events in the system. CS-Safe provides an intuitive, easy-to-use platform for entries and provides status updates, allowing staff and physicians to monitor entries and be informed of follow-up.

"The system also provides tracking and trending of events, and area-specific reports to all levels of leadership," said Gail P. Grant, MD, director of Clinical Quality Information Services.

CS-Safe is accessible in three ways: CS-Link, the clinical workstation or the Cedars-Sinai intranet. Training tips for incident report entry are now available on HealthStream through a short, six-minute video titled, "CS-Safe Incident Reporting Training." For leadership who review reported events, an additional one-hour hands-on training session also is available.

"Everyone has a voice in patient safety," said Edward Seferian, MD, chief patient safety officer. "If you see something, please say something. Then, document your concern in CS-Safe."

For questions about CS-Safe, please email GroupCS-SafeHelp@cshs.org.

 

Core Labs Achieve Elite Certification

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Pictured at the Six Sigma Certification at Cedars-Sinai are: Clare Lee, vice president of Service Lines; Kimia Sobhani, medical director of the Core Labs; Charles Hernandez, CLS I; Jerry Soto, CLS II;  Elynor Manimtim (front), technical manager of the Core Labs; Sten Westgard (back), director of Westgard QC; Vaishali Desai (front), CLS II; Peter Truong (back), technical manager of the Core Labs; Kacy Kurushima (front), CLS I; Jeff Smith (back), executive vice president of Hospital Operations and COO; Paula-Ann Salango, CLS II; Clarice Choy, associate director of the Core Labs; and, Kathy Clark, executive director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

The Core Laboratories within the Department of Pathology and Medicine recently became the first clinical lab in the state to receive an elite designation for quality performance.

The Core Labs were awarded a Six Sigma Certification during a Dec. 18 ceremony at Cedars-Sinai, which was officiated by Sten Westgard of Westgard QC, the company that manages the Six Sigma Laboratory Certification Program.

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Sten Westgard (center) awards Six Sigma Certification to Vashali Desai (left) and Kimia Sobhani of the Core Labs.

Six Sigma is a highly utilized, data-driven approach used by companies internationally and represents a level of reproducibility and quality for manufacturing and transactional processes that have attained an error or "defect" rate of less than or equal to 3.4 per million opportunities.

In order to obtain the certification, the Core Labs had to demonstrate that at least 20 test methods in operation had Six Sigma performance or better. Also, certification required that at least two lab leaders had to take special training modules and pass an exam. In all, seven members of the Core Labs successfully passed the training and tests, while 74 Core Labs tests were deemed to perform at Six Sigma levels or better.

The Six Sigma Certification project was led by Kimia Sobhani, PhD, medical director of the Core Labs, Clarice Choy, associate director of the Core Labs, Khalil Huballa, associate director of Lab Support Services, and Elynor Manimtim and Peter Truong, who are both technical directors at the Core Labs. Kathy Clark, executive director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, also supported the goals of the program.

In addition to Truong and Manimtim, Six Sigma certified members also include: Vaishali Desai, CLS; Kacy Kurushima, CLS; Charles Hernandez, CLS; Paula-Ann Salango, CLS; and, Jerry Soto, CLS.

The Six Sigma Certification follows other recent honors for the Core Labs. Within the last two years, the Core Labs was recognized by the Medical Laboratory Observer as "Lab of the Year" and "First Runner-up."

Plans are underway to further strengthen performance at the Core Labs in the coming years as the team strives to increase efficiency, volume and capacity. By the end of 2021, the Core Labs are expected to implement more automation and have all new chemistry instruments.  

The Core Labs core run nearly 6 million patient tests per year on over 2 million specimens. The Core Labs has a menu of 120 tests that span clinical chemistry, hematology and basic coagulation tests. It is by far the highest volume laboratory division within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

The clinical labs at Cedars-Sinai are all accredited by the College of American Pathologists, which is the gold standard for clinical laboratory accreditation nationally.

 

King Speaker Urges Audience to Stand for Civil Rights

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Rick Rigsby, PhD

How can we best honor the legacy of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.?

"By making sure you hope against all hope. By exhausting the gifts that God has given each and every one of us, so that you die empty. And above all else, by standing—even when you feel like freaking out and flipping out and going out of control—you will stand!" said Rick Rigsby, PhD, capping a dramatic address Monday as the guest speaker at Cedars-Sinai's 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.

In the less than 35 minutes, Rigsby traced African American history from its beginnings in slavery to the civil rights legends who preceded, or who worked alongside, King. Those figures included unionist A. Philip Randolph, the founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, as well as Fred Shuttleworth, who teamed with King and others to establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference while fighting to end racial segregation in the South.

Rigsby also highlighted the origins of King's early days as a civil rights leader, citing his work as a young preacher in Montgomery, Alabama, and referencing the dramatic text of King's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail."

At other points, Rigsby even channeled King, such as when he drew on the civil rights leader's "If you can't fly, then run" phrasing, as well as a famous passage from the "I Have a Dream" speech delivered at the March on Washington in 1963.

Speaking to an estimated crowd of 500 packed into Harvey Morse Auditorium, Rigsby urged: "Don't quit. Stand! You're going to encounter somebody at this amazing facility that might just need to hear you say, 'Stand!' How would you say it, Martin? 'If you can't fly, then run.If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving, even if you have to stand."

"In other words, friends, do something. Do something today," Rigsby continued. "Even if it's just a dream."

And then, again closely drawing on King's words, Rigsby added: "I have a dream, deeply rooted in the American dream that one day this nation [will] rise up to live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream, down in Georgia, the sons of former slaves, and the sons of former slave owners, would someday, get together at the table of brotherhood…. I have a dream, today, that one day little white boys and white girls will join hands with little black boys and black girls and be brothers and sisters in love."

Rigsby also interwove his discourse about King with the story of his own family— noting that the inspiration of King helped his family endure the early death of his first wife to cancer, and also enriched the wisdom of his father, whom he described as "a third-grade dropout, the wisest man I ever met."

The emotional impact of the words from Rigsby—a motivational speaker and former college professor and journalist now based in Texas—repeatedly evoked reactions ranging from laughter to rousing applause.

Singer Dorian Holley closed out the one-hour event and drew a fresh burst of laughter when—in a direct reference to the difficulty in following Rigsby's performance—he said, "Well, this isn't fair at all."

But the audience soon sprung back to its feet and swayed to Holley's music.   Backed up by musicians on guitar and keyboard, he closed with the songs "Abraham, Martin and John," "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and "Change is Gonna Come."

As the program concluded, many in the audience collapsed into each other's arms.

Shay Domingo, a management assistant in the Advancement department who was serving as a volunteer at the program, said, "The speaker gave me chills."

"I looked around, and a lot of other people were very emotional and were crying too," she said. Learning more about King, Domingo said, was "just so moving."

Five Question Survey for Physicians

Many Cedars-Sinai doctors treat patients from foreign countries, and some undoubtedly are involved in international educational and research programs or other initiatives outside of the U.S.

To gauge the extent of those global ties, Cedars-Sinai International this month is distributing a five-question survey to physicians throughout the organization.

It’s part of an effort "to try to foster and nurture and enhance some of those relationships," said Heitham Hassoun, MD, vice president and medical director of Cedars-Sinai International.

"We're trying to grow our international patient services," Hassoun added. "We're trying to develop collaborations that provide revenue to the institution but also have an impact on healthcare in other parts of the world."

The survey, he said, will shed light "on the resources that we have." For example, Hassoun said, if Cedars-Sinai embarked on a hospital project in China, it would want to know which of its physicians have experience there.

The survey is expected to take about 10 minutes to complete. It asks physicians to describe any international professional ties they already have, as well as whether they speak any foreign languages proficiently and are authorized to practice medicine in any country outside of the U.S.

In addition, the survey asks physicians whether they would be willing to get involved in international initiatives, such as giving lectures at global conferences or consulting with doctors overseas via video.

Hassoun said the survey will go to medical faculty and physicians throughout the Cedars-Sinai medical network, including physicians in affiliated private medical groups. He hopes to have the initial results within about a month.

Already, Cedars-Sinai serves about 2,000 international patients from more than 100 countries each year. Many of the patients come from Mexico, Canada and China, but there also are rising numbers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

In a recent interview with Pulse, Hassoun cited "a growing global burden of chronic diseases in areas such as heart, vascular and cancer," and he said it "is applying pressure on all countries to provide the drugs, the know-how and ultimately a different kind of care than what would have sufficed in the past."

"At Cedars-Sinai," he added, "we want to be able to provide that leading-edge care but also engage in international partnerships that foster greater access in other countries so that patients don't necessarily have to leave home to receive the type of sophisticated treatments they want and need."

To complete the survey online, click on this link.

Human Trafficking Task Force Volunteers

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January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month—an opportunity to raise awareness about the $150 billion criminal enterprise and the efforts at Cedars-Sinai through the Human Trafficking Response Task Force aimed at educating healthcare providers and supporting possible victims. 

The task force, which is comprised of volunteer employees from varying departments and service lines throughout the medical center, is seeking additional volunteers.

Task force members work to educate healthcare providers on potential behavioral and physical warning signs displayed by patients affected by human trafficking. They also regularly speak at local and national conferences, training seminars and community events to help other volunteers become community activists.

"Nike, Google, Starbucks and the National Football League combined make $136 billion annually," said Tejal "TJ" Patel, a member of the task force who works in risk management. "But human trafficking is far exceeding this as a $150 billion industry. It's a shocking statistic and further validates our need to raise awareness throughout the medical center and within our community."

There are three main types of human trafficking—sex, labor and organ—and Los Angeles has become one of the top spots in the U.S. for human trafficking, according to Polaris, a national anti-trafficking organization.

The U. S. is the principal destination for human trafficking worldwide and California specifically harbors three of the nation's 10 worst areas for child sex trafficking, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

Although tracking the numbers of human trafficking victims who come through Cedars-Sinai is challenging, the task force estimates they see at least 10 victims per month in the Emergency Department and last year saw between 150 and 200 patients in total.

"We believe this is a low estimate and that many victims are going unnoticed due to a lack of education,”"said Kelsey McNeill, a clinical social worker in the Emergency and Case Management Department and member of the task force. "The more we educate healthcare providers, the better we will be able to track and monitor the full scope of the problem."

For suspected victims, healthcare providers are asked to use the PEARR tool, which focuses on providing privacy for the perceived victim, educating them about trafficking, asking about the specific warning signs they have witnessed, and then, responding and respecting their wishes, as appropriate.

For interested volunteers, or departments interested in receiving additional training, please contact the Human Trafficking Response Task Force at GroupHTResponse@cshs.org.

Surgical Item Tracking System to Roll Out Jan. 27

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A new tracking system will be implemented Jan. 27 to help eliminate retained surgical items.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 27, Cedars-Sinai will start fitting operating rooms with a new tracking system that aims to eliminate retained soft good surgical items (RSI).

The SurgiCount System will be used to track sponges—the most common RSI—by scanning and recording QR codes on each sponge before and after use during a procedure.

OR staff members may have already seen or used the new sponges—without the tracking system—as the sponges were recently introduced to some procedural areas as part of the conversion process.

Effective Jan. 27, all sponges must be replaced with QR-coded sponges. Staff members are asked to remove sponges without QR codes from circulation in procedural areas by handing them to their assistant nurse manager for recycling.

For more information, please contact elaine.suris@cshs.org.

'Since You Asked': On-site Gym, Daycare and More

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Since You Asked has gone digital, and The Bridge is now publishing answers to employee questions as a regular feature. Please email questions to SinceYouAsked@cshs.org. This issue's questions deal with an onsite gym, daycare facilities and vacation accural for long-term employees.

What About an On-site Gym?

Question: I wanted to bring an idea of adding an on-site gym with personal trainer and giving employees incentives to work out at least three times a week and getting a gym membership fee waived.

Answer: Thank you for this great suggestion. The Benefits and Wellness teams have already explored and advocated for an on-site gym and at this time, unfortunately, all available space is prioritized to serve our patients. Please visit our Wellness and Employee discount site at the Employee Wellness website for details.

- Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness and Recognition

What Happened to Jiff?

Q: I recently found out that Jiff went away and that the points we have with Jiff did too. There was no notification at all to me or any of the other Cedars-Sinai employees that this was discontinued. Is there any way possible we can recoup our points? I feel like the rug was pulled from under us when all we wanted to do was track our steps, sleep and food for rewards and points.

A: In our continuous effort to increase wellness awareness and engagement, and offer our employees a comprehensive wellness program, we have ended our relationship with Jiff. Our FSA/HealthFund provider, TRI-AD, is now providing administration of the HealthFund wellness program. A HealthFund FAQ was mailed to the address on file to all employees prior to the March 1, 2019, transition from Jiff to TRI-AD. While any point not redeemed by March 1 went away, you will still be able to earn rewards through TRI-AD. You will complete just one healthy action from the Healthy Actions List and submit proof of your activity to TRI-AD instead of to Jiff. If your healthy action is approved, TRI-AD will deposit your HealthFund contribution in an HRA account for you to spend on eligible healthcare expenses. You will still be able to earn an additional $50 reward by taking one more healthy action from the Healthy Actions List. Submit proof to TRI-AD using the same process as for the HealthFund, and receive $50 via check or direct deposit to your bank account (based on your preference) to spend on anything you wish.

- Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness and Recognition

Can We Add United Behavioral Health?

Q: Can we get United Behavioral Health added to our benefits?

A: Thank you for inquiring about this important benefit. We do not offer behavioral health benefits through United. However, behavioral health benefits can be obtained either through our Anthem medical plans, our internal Work and Life Matters team by calling 310-423-6447 or by calling our external partner, Empathia Life Matters at 866-713-1979.

-Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness and Recognition

Can We Get On-site Daycare?

Q: Why don’t we have any daycare facility catered to kids of Cedars-Sinai employees? I understand that it will not be free of charge. As a mother myself, it would be very convenient to have a daycare facility within the campus at a minimal charge for employees.

A: Thank you for this great suggestion. We have already explored the on-site daycare option, and unfortunately, the organization cannot support it at this time due to the lack of space. All space is prioritized for serving our patients. However, we have a partnership with Bright Horizons Child and Adult Care to provide affordable options for childcare, eldercare or assisted care needs for our employees and their families. You can learn more about all these benefits online at http://clients.brighthorizons.com/cedarssinai or by calling 877-BH-CARES (877-242-2737).

- Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness and Recognition

Can We Revamp Accrued VHT?

Q: Is there a possibility that the accrued VHT might be increased for employees who have been here long term? It doesn’t seem fair that an employee who has been here for 10 years accrues the same amount as an employee who has been here 20, 25, 30 years or more. Currently the max is 6.15 hours per pay period. Has this ever been discussed?

A: Thank you for this suggestion. We want to provide competitive vacation accruals which also recognize our longer tenured employees. We regularly review market trends for all benefits, including vacation time. Our analysis shows that our vacation time benefits are competitive.

-Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness & Recognition

Sign Up for Benefits Online?

Q: Since Cedars-Sinai now has many facilities that are not at the main hospital campus would it be possible to sign up for the credit union and other offered benefits online?

A: Thank you for your interest in joining the credit union. You may sign up for the credit union online by using the following link: https://www.cusocal.org/Cedars-Members. Please visit our Employee Wellness website for hundreds of other multi-dimensional resources.

-Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness & Recognition

Is It Acceptable to Request VHT Next to Weekends?

Q: I keep hearing from our department shift supervisor that it's frowned upon to request VHT next to your weekend (three consecutive days off). I've also heard that management is keeping track of our VHT request and it may affect our yearly evaluation negatively. I thought VHT was earned, and we request it for days we need at our own choosing. I understand days being denied due to shortage of staff, but I don't understand the logic of management or HR limiting the days we can choose our VHT. I don't believe that is fair.

A: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We agree and we do not support a philosophy of denying an employee to use their VHT or time off. Please work with your HR Business Partner if you feel that the time off policy has been unfairly applied towards you.

-Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness & Recognition

How Can Employees Away From Medical Center Get Same Improvement Programs?

Q: As a Cedars-Sinai employee who works at a remote location, I read about the many great employee improvement programs offered at the main campus, but feel somewhat left out. The hours for the Wellbeing Fair did not allow those of us at other locations to participate. As Cedars-Sinai expands its operations, especially in Marina del Rey, Playa Vista and Culver City areas, are there any plans to offer any similar programs out this way? It also seems that most things are only offered for day shift employees. Night shift employees need access to these benefits, too.

A: Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. Our goal for wellness at Cedars-Sinai is to provide programs and services for employees that meet them where they are and as we create and implement new wellness programs and events, we try to offer programs that can be accessed by most if not all employees. We understand that Cedars-Sinai is a 24/7 operation that includes multiple remote locations, but at this time we are not staffed to offer events to accommodate every shift and location. 

  • Many of the vendors who attended the Wellness Fair are on the Employee Wellness website and would love to interact with our employees at a more convenient time for them. Additionally, numerous options for wellness can accommodate night shifts or employees at other locations. Please allow us to provide a general sampling of services:
  • Daily (Monday-Friday) on campus fitness classes at 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Gym and fitness discounts
  • Employee Wellness websitewith hundreds of multi-dimensional resources
  • Annual Employee Wellness Fair and Recognition celebration that starts at 7 a.m.
  • Headspace app (free for the first month) that teaches meditation at your pace and schedule
  • Painted stairwells and healing gardens
  • Online wellness videos (with more in the works)
  • Free InBody composition analysis
  • Work and Life Matters counseling services
  • A lifestyle change program (through your Anthem medical coverage) that offers wireless scales, activity trackers, group support, weekly lessons and access to a personal health coach at no cost to you, if you qualify. Take the one-minute quiz.
  • Our latest resourceto help with sleeping.

This is not a complete list and we know there is always more we can be doing. Please believe we are regularly looking for ways to expand and improve our program in hopes of reaching everyone in a meaningful and personal way.

- Patricia J. Campbell, MAOM
Executive Director, Benefits, Wellness & Recognition

What is the Impact of Positive Result for Marijuana?

Q: I was hoping to get some clarification on the "Since You Asked" webpage, posted on Jan 12, 2018. When the bulletin states: "A positive result for marijuana in addition to other prohibited substances constitutes a failed screening and results in the applicant being denied employment." Does this mean that a positive result for only marijuana, absent of any other prohibited substance, will or will not result in disqualification from employment on the pre-employment drug screening?

A: While cannabis (aka marijuana) is legal to use for recreation in California, it is still illegal to possess or use under federal law.  Specifically, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently considers marijuana an illegal Schedule I controlled substance. There are several important reasons why Cedars-Sinai considers evidence of marijuana use during the pre-employment drug screening as a “fail” resulting in disqualification for hire. Cedars-Sinai is subject to the DEA’s regulations in operating its pharmacies and dispensing medications to patients among other things. In addition, Cedars-Sinai is accredited through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency that administers the Medicare program through which we receive financial reimbursements for providing health care to our patients. As federal regulatory and accrediting agencies, ignoring federal law including the illegality of marijuana could result in loss of our accreditation and thus federal funding for the hospital as a participant in the Medicare reimbursement program. Furthermore, Cedars-Sinai would not want to jeopardize its accreditation as a healthcare organization by The Joint Commission, a separate prerequisite for eligibility for insurance reimbursement among other things.  Given the conflict between state and federal law in this area, we understand that this topic can be a confusing, but we hope everyone understands the high stakes associated with failing to comply with the federal standards in this area.

- Mylene J. Brooks, Esq.
Executive Director, HR Compliance and Labor Relations

Why Are Only Styrofoam Plates and Cups Available?

Q: I apologize if this has been asked and answered but with the plastic island in the ocean the size of Texas, why are only Styrofoam plates and cups available as office supplies through Peoplesoft? Our office is using mugs and ceramic plates whenever we can for ourselves, but for guests this practice presents a problem. With all of us trying to do our part, why can’t we be given a choice for paper plates or cups to order through Peoplesoft?

A: We will be moving away from Styrofoam products. We are evaluating paper cups to replace Styrofoam cups to start with and will move on to other products in the future. There is no specific time line for complete elimination.

- Jerry Dea
Director, Supply Chain Management

Are Updates Coming for Windows?

Q: I recently heard that all work computers will need to be updated to Windows 10 by 2020. Our department has many old computers with Windows 7. Due to cost containments, our computers are over five-years-old and our department is not willing to buy new computers unless we absolutely need to. Would this mandatory update to Windows 10 slow down the old computers?

A: Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 in January 2020. Their position is to increase overall security posture and compliance for enterprise customers. In order to maintain the security and compliance of our devices we have to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 before January 2020. Over 50% of our workstations (9,000) are currently running Windows 10 and we will be upgrading the remainder in place. There should not be any degradation of performance regardless of computer age and users should not notice any difference.

- Wayne Tanaka
EIS Systems Manager

FDA Warns About Possible Cancer Risk With Weight Drug Lorcaserin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting the public that results from a clinical trial assessing safety show a possible increased risk of cancer with the weight management medicine Belviq, Belviq XR (lorcaserin). At this time, the cause of the cancer is uncertain, and the FDA cannot conclude that lorcaserin contributes to the cancer risk. However, the agency wanted to make the public aware of this potential risk.

Lorcaserin is a prescription medicine approved by the FDA in 2012 for use with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity to help weight loss in adults who are obese or are overweight and have weight-related medical problems. Lorcaserin works by increasing feelings of fullness so that less food is eaten. It is available as a tablet (Belviq) and an extended-release tablet (Belviq XR).

The FDA website has more information.

 

CS-Link Tip: In Basket Reminders Sent to Email

A couple months ago, the Patient Reminder List feature in CS-Link™ was covered in order to help you keep track of tasks related to a patient. Another useful reminder tool is the ability to send yourself reminder emails of unread In Basket messages. This tool is not limited to internal email addresses and can be convenient, especially if you do not access CS-Link on a daily basis.

To set this up, click the Personalize button with the wrench icon on the taskbar in the "In Basket" activity. Navigate to the tab labeled "Reminder Emails" in the pop-up window, click the button "Get Started" and finally enter your preferred email address.

This feature can also be customized to fit your needs. You have the option of choosing when to receive the reminder. For example, you can have a reminder email sent only if an In Basket message has not been read after three days.

Additionally, you can also choose which subset of In Basket folders (e.g., Results, Staff Messages, Discharge Notice, etc.) to receive reminders from, and when to receive the reminder for each folder. This feature is limited to messages only sent to you and does not include messages sent to a pool. The reminders are sent in batches on a daily basis so the shortest time to receive a reminder email will be the next day.

For more information, see the CS-Link job aid on this topic by clicking here.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at groupeisphysicians@cshs.org.