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January 2017


Announcement: Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sarasota Memorial is developing plans for a new comprehensive cancer center. The cancer center, part of a strategic plan for a “destination” cancer program, will offer services across the continuum of cancer care. Please click here to read the original press release and to learn more about this exciting news.

As part of the development and planning of the cancer program, the new Oncology Leadership Group (OLG) was established. The Oncology Leadership Group will focus on creating guidelines for cancer care based on best practices, research and evidence-based treatments. Invitations were sent in Fall 2016 to a multidisciplinary group of physicians and hospital administrative leadership. These key physician and hospital leaders will further develop our “destination” cancer program and the comprehensive cancer center to offer improved access to high-quality cancer care for our patients in the community. 

The Oncology Leadership Group members are (shown alphabetically):


Clinical and Hospital Administration:

Dr. Richard Brown

Connie Andersen, Chief Nursing Officer

Dr. Robert Carey

Kelly Batista, Director, Cancer Institute

Dr. James Fiorica

Yulonda Greene, Director, Patient Care Services

Dr. Ken Meredith

Dave Jungst, Director, Pharmacy

Dr. Russell Novak

Lorrie Liang, Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Jack Rodman

David Patterson, Assoc. Chief Nursing Officer

Dr. Joseph Seaman

Pam Ramhofer, Chief Information Officer

Dr. Alissa Shulman

Diane Settle, VP, Revenue Cycle Management

Dr. Caryn Silver

Dr. Larry Silverman

Dr. John Steele

Dr. Joelle Vlahakis

Educational updates from our DNV Survey (See link for details.)

1.     IPON – Immediate post-operative note

a.     Electronic and paper versions are available: Surgical, Procedural, Bedside Procedures, Interventional Radiology, Brachytherapy

b.     Must be completed before the patient is transferred to the next level of care

2.     Post Anesthesia Assessment

a.     Form revised to include vital signs

b.     All fields on the form must be addressed

3.     Restraints

a.     Orders for Violent Restraints require a face-to-face physician assessment and renewal every 4 hours.

b.     Orders for Non-violent Restraints must be renewed every 24 hours.

c.     Orders must correlate with the restraints applied to the patient.

d.     Mittens on patient with the “FLAPS CLOSED” are considered a restraint and require an order.

Laboratory Services

Subject: High Dose Biotin Interference on Specific Laboratory Tests

·       Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin. It is present in foods without assay interference. Supplements are being used for energy, to improve hair, skin and nail quality, in pregnancy, dialysis, renal problems, MS and other disorders. Some patients are taking megadoses. The half-life of biotin is under two hours, and it is usually cleared in four to five half-lives. 

·       Many immunoassay laboratory tests utilize avidin-biotin as a part of their assay design. Non preformed avidin and biotin tests have potential for interference.

·       Siemens Advia Centaur (used at SMH for Immunoassay Testing):

o   In a sandwich assay, this may lead to a lower result.  e.g HAV IgM, HBc IgM, HBsAgII, SHBG, Tnl-Ultra and PIINP.

o   In a competitive assay, this may lead to a higher result. e.g HAV total, testosterone II, cyclosporine, DHEAS-SO4, Folate

·       Siemens Dimension Vista (used at SMH for Chemistry Testing)

o   No significant interference

·       Tests reported in literature to have potential interference: Patients taking megadose biotin exhibited thyroid test results simulating Grave’s Disease.


All laboratory vendors (Roche, Beckman, Ortho, Abbott and Siemens) utilize biotin-designed methodologies. Megadose biotin interference will potentially occur with all laboratory locations in the United States with significant variations.


Strongly suggest that patients discontinue biotin supplements for 24 hours prior to laboratory testing.

Rehabilitation Pavilion Opening Spring 2017 (See link for details.)

We’re making changes to better serve our physicians and community members. The Sarasota Memorial Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit (CRU) will now be identified by its specific level of care: Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF).

Happy New Year!

Scott Stevens, MD