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Advisory on Robot-Assisted Surgery & BIDMC Response

  • Date: 7/1/2013

Advisory on Robot-Assisted Surgery (March 2013)

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Board of Registration in Medicine
Quality and Patient Safety Division

Over the last two years, the Quality and Patient Safety Division (QPSD) has received an increasing number of Safety and Quality Review (SQR) reports of patient complications associated with robot-assisted surgery. This advisory is issued to draw providers’ attention to some of the potential issues involving robot-assisted surgery, to share some of the lessons learned by the reporting health care facilities, and to support health care facilities in the review and development of their systems for safe robotic-surgical practice.

(full report

BIDMC Response to Advisory:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is committed to the health and safety of its patients as well as to providing high quality, innovative care. We believe that robotic surgery is an example of a novel and innovative therapeutic approach that should be approached programmatically and responsibly. To meet these goals, all surgeons involved with robotic surgery must undergo a rigorous training and credentialing process that involves simulation training, and on-site proctoring before performing cases independently. Furthermore, a Robotic Surgery Steering Committee has been established to oversee quality issues as related to robotic surgery, consistency in the credentialing of new robotic surgeons, the review and validation of new robotic procedures, and the efficient use of robotic resources. This multidisciplinary committee is composed of surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists-all with substantial leadership experience and with knowledge of minimally invasive and robotic surgery. BIDMC is aware of the heightened interest and scrutiny surrounding robotic surgery, as recently addressed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, yet feels that, with appropriate oversight, robotic surgery can be introduced and advanced in a safe, and patient-centric, fashion.