sutures newsletter


FDA Warns of Gilenya Risk, Name Confusion, Looks Into GBCA Use

Pharmacy Focus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings regarding the multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya and about reports of confusion between the names of the antidepressant Brintellix and anti-clotting drug Brilinta. Also, the agency is investigating the risk of brain deposits following repeated use of gadolinium-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.

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.

Education Schedule

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

Education Schedule - August 2015 (PDF)

Surgery Scheduling

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

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

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Cedars-Sinai Joins Surgical Quality Improvement Program

From Bruce Gewertz, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Surgery, and Harry Sax, MD, Executive Vice Chair, Department of Surgery

At Cedars-Sinai, we always strive to provide the highest-quality care and look for ways to improve the safety and outcomes of our patients. To help identify these areas for improvement, we recently joined the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP).

ACS NSQIP is based on collecting clinical, risk-adjusted, 30-day outcomes data in a nationally benchmarked database. By using clinical data gathered from our patients' medical charts, rather than administrative data, we will be able to catch more complications, helping Cedars-Sinai to improve patient outcomes and cut healthcare costs. Our results can then be compared to those of other hospitals similar to ours in size and type across the country to help us determine where we need to make quality improvements.

On average, ACS NSQIP participating hospitals have been able to prevent 250 to 500 complications and save 12 to 36 lives each year, saving millions of dollars annually. Tracking 30-day outcomes helps identify complications such as surgical site infections, urinary tract infections and pneumonia.

Rodrigo F. Alban, MD, has been selected to serve as our hospital's surgeon champion to oversee the implementation of ACS NSQIP, educate others on the program and work closely with the surgical clinical reviewer (SCR) to accurately capture our hospital's data.

With the assistance of our Health Information Department, led by Thea Campbell, MBA, RHIA, and Laura Hardy, RN, we have identified our hospital's SCR, who will undergo special training through the American College of Surgeons. The SCR role is dedicated to collecting and entering data and works closely with the surgeon champion, surgeons and internal hospital committees to ensure accurate data collection and best results. Because the SCR is responsible for tracking 30-day patient outcomes, the HID team will be contacting surgeons' offices and hospital committees. Your collaboration is appreciated.

We will continue to provide updates as the program progresses. In the meantime, for more information on ACS NSQIP, visit or contact Rodrigo F. Alban at with questions specific to Cedars-Sinai's quality-improvement efforts.