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Weekly Progress Notes January 22



Kudos to Thomas Matthew, M.D.

Congratulations to Thomas Matthew, M.D., medical director of Johns Hopkins Cardiothoracic Surgery at Suburban Hospital, for being appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Maryland Cardiac Surgery Quality Initiative (MCSQI). The primary goal of MCSQI is to improve clinical quality in Maryland’s ten cardiac surgery programs. In his role as chairman, Dr. Matthew will provide strategic leadership to achieve MCSQI's mission, vision and goals and he will be the spokesperson for the organization.

In addition, Suburban recently received a wonderful letter from the family of one of Dr. Matthew’s recent surgical patients. Here is an excerpt:

“Words cannot adequately express the gratitude that we feel for what you have done for our family. It is very difficult to entrust the care of oneself or a loved one to others, but we felt more at peace knowing that there was a group of wonderful and dedicated healthcare professionals taking this journey with us. To the team of brilliant physicians, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and techs who expertly executed a strategy to restore life, not only to your patient, but also to the people who love him, we thank you so much for saving our family. In our darkest time, you promised that you wouldn't give up, and you didn't, and for that we are eternally grateful…You are miracle workers; and we will never forget what you have done for us!”



North Building Tours for Physicians

As a reminder, our executive leadership and medical executive teams are requiring ALL physicians and advanced practice providers to participate in a tour of the North Building. The new dates for the tours are Tuesday, Jan. 28 through Friday, Feb. 14 and you can sign up here. Please note that the tours are broken down into medicine and surgery.

Tours are approximately 45-60 minutes in length and you will need to bring your badge to the tour. Your badge will be scanned for proof of attendance and is needed to access all areas of the North building. One hour of CME credit will be provided for completing the tour.

If you would like to set up a tour with your subsection or group at a different date/time, please contact Michelle at or 301-896-3678.



Reminder: New Enterprisewide Patient Identification Policy

Patient safety begins with staff members ensuring that patient identification is accurate and complete. A new Johns Hopkins Medicine Identification of Patients Policy recently took effect across the health system to improve patient identification, from scheduling and registration throughout the continuum of care. The policy, which consolidates 26 unique health system policies, is integral to ensuring that the right patient receives the right care, and their information is documented in the right record.

According to Allen Kachalia, M.D., J.D., senior vice president of patient safety and quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine and director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, “Patient safety at Johns Hopkins Medicine entities begins with staff members ensuring that patient identification is accurate and complete. Over half of the patient identification errors in the HERO system in fiscal year 2019 involved incidents of inaccurate patient information and incomplete processes. Ensure care is delivered to the right patient by asking the patient to provide at least two acceptable patient identifiers every time care, treatment, and services are provided. Patients should be asked for their legal name and DOB if they are able to participate in care; use legal name and MRN if the patient is unable to participate in care.”

Please review the JHM Identification of Patients Policy. You can also download a fact sheet about the policy. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Alli Rothwell at



New Suicide Policy (for Non-Psych Inpatients) and Safety Precaution Signs

A new suicide policy (for non-psych inpatients) and safety precaution signs (shown here) went into effect on Tuesday, Jan 21. The updated suicide policy (for non-psych inpatients) affects many departments in the hospital and includes new Joint Commission standards from 2019.

My Learning Module(s) have been assigned according to your role and your interactions with suicidal patients. Be sure to open your e-learning module in Chrome (it will not work in Internet Explorer). The safety boxes on your unit were updated last week.



Inside Safety Insider

The latest issue of Safety Insider, from the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, discusses a new enterprisewide patient identification policy; recent Johns Hopkins quality awards; Just Culture training; and more. Sign up if you’d like to receive the quarterly e-newsletter, which focuses on how to provide patients with safe, high-quality care.


Suburban Hospital Enrolling Patients for CardiAMP Heart Failure Trial

Suburban Hospital is currently enrolling patients in the CardiAMP Heart Failure Trial studying an investigational stem cell-based therapy for ischemic heart failure that develops after a heart attack. The principal investigator for Suburban is Gregory Kumkumian M.D. For more information, please contact Peggy Iraola, MPP at or 301-896-3060. Download this handout to learn more.



Click here for the January 2020 calendar on You can download a PDF copy here.



Johns Hopkins Medicine Continuing Medical Education Series

Jan. 22: Oncology Translational Research Conference "Early Detection and Characterization of Human Cancer Using Noninvasive Liquid Biopsies"—to access click here. Text CME Code 22743 to 443-541-5052 up to eight hours after the event.

Jan. 23: Surgical Grand Rounds “Physician Burnout! How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go”—to access click here

Jan. 24: Oncology Grand Rounds "Long Telomeres and Cancer Risk: The Price of Cellular Immortality”—to access click here. Text CME Code 24116 to 443-541-5052 up to eight hours after the event.




Vaping Linked to Higher Chance for Asthma and COPD

Johns Hopkins researchers have found evidence that vaping is linked to increased odds of developing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — conditions also caused by smoking traditional cigarettes.



How Cells Learn to 'Count'

One, two, three, four … without fingers to count on, our cells must use a more sophisticated system to keep track of the proper number of structures to build in each cell. New research shows how they achieve it.



Two-stage Nasal Reconstruction After Surgical Removal of Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Visit to learn how microvascular and facial plastic reconstructive surgeon Shaun Desai, M.D. conducted a complex, two-stage nasal reconstruction after the surgical removal of a woman’s Merkel cell carcinoma.



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