sutures newsletter


FDA Warns About Extended-Release Opioid Products

Pharmacy Focus

The federal Food and Drug Administration has added a boxed warning to long-acting extended-release opioid products, noting an increased risk of opioid addiction, abuse and misuse, potentially leading to overdose and death. Serious, life-threatening or fatal respiratory depression may occur.

Mark Your Calendar

Surgery Grand Rounds

Click the "read more" to see information about upcoming Surgery Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.

Educational Schedule

Click a PDF link below to see the Department of Surgery's educational schedule.

Educational Schedule - October 2014 (PDF)

Educational Schedule - November 2014 (PDF)

Surgery Scheduling

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling.

Share Your News

Know an interesting colleague we should profile? A story we should tell? Submit your ideas, meetings and events for consideration.

Click here to submit your news to Sutures

Pilot Project Will Let Some Patients View Progress Notes

OpenNotes is a national initiative designed to improve patient engagement by giving patients access to the progress notes written by their physicians. Beginning in November, Cedars-Sinai will pilot OpenNotes, and patients who receive care from any of the surgeons and other physicians who have volunteered to be in the pilot will be able to see their ambulatory progress notes via the secure patient portal My CS-Link™.

OpenNotes is set to go live Nov. 11. Approximately 30 Cedars-Sinai Medical Group, faculty and private practice physicians have volunteered to participate in the pilot.

Health systems that have implemented OpenNotes have reported positive effects for patient engagement. A study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and conducted by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Geisinger Health System and Harborview Medical Center showed that 87 percent of patients read at least one of their notes, and more than 76 percent reported improvements in remembering their plan of care. Importantly, more than 60 percent reported better medication adherence.

"Patients want to have an open, honest dialogue with their physician, and that includes having real-time access to their medical records," said Sharon Isonaka, MD, vice president of Clinical Transformation at Cedars-Sinai.

"This level of positive patient response is consistent with national studies that demonstrate that improved patient engagement leads to better outcomes," Isonaka said. "Physician feedback has also been very favorable, and virtually every physician who participated in the initial OpenNotes study chose to continue offering it to their patients."

The OpenNotes pilot will allow Cedars-Sinai patients of pilot physicians to log onto My CS-Link to review each ambulatory progress note after it is completed and signed by the physician. Only completed notes written after the go-live date will be available, and physicians will be able to hide specific notes if they wish. Following the conclusion of the pilot, patients and physicians will be surveyed to assess their perceptions of OpenNotes.

In addition to Cedars-Sinai, OpenNotes has been implemented at a number of health systems, including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Kaiser Permanente Northwest. Locally, UCLA Health System, Kaiser Permanente and Providence Health System are preparing to offer OpenNotes to their patients.

For more information, please contact Isonaka at or visit for videos and links to articles on OpenNotes.