Stricter Guidelines on the Horizon for Robotic Surgery
Do you consider robotics a surgery tool or a specialized practice? According to an article by Thomas Rosenthal in the October 11, 2018 edition of General Surgery News, physicians who routinely perform robotic surgery and also participate in robotic surgery groups are more likely to consider robotics a specialized practice. Physicians who don’t routinely use robotics are more likely to view it as a tool.
Robotics: Tool vs. Specialized Practice
Regardless of where a physician stands in the “tool vs. specialized practice” debate, things are changing in robotic surgery. The importance of more standardized training and credentialing for surgeons using robotics has always been a hot topic of discussion in the medical community. As more robotic-assisted surgery programs have launched in a growing number of hospitals and surgery centers across the United States, robotic credentialing has become a more critical issue.
Many feel there is a need for standard guidelines to be established through robotic steering committees (RSC) at every facility where robotic-assisted surgery is deployed. Many more feel these RSCs should be composed of surgeons with robotic expertise. All agree that stricter standard guidelines are very likely right around the corner.
Setting Standards with Surgeons as Stakeholders
Physicians interviewed for GSN indicated that as robotic credentialing guidelines are being established, experienced surgeons should get involved at their surgery centers to help provide early recommendations for those guidelines. Their experience with robotics will help formulate optimal (and reasonable) training and credentialing requirements that will provide needed peer support for surgeons new to robotics. Their involvement will also ensure better patient outcomes.
Doctors Weigh in: Robotic Surgery Credentialing
“The first time I heard about credentialing for robotic surgery, I was adamantly opposed because I did not want another administrator telling me what hoops to jump through after my training,” said Alisa M. Coker, MD, an assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Although initially opposed to the idea, Dr. Coker later realized that robotic surgery credentialing is inevitable, and she’d rather “have a seat at the table than be told what hoops to jump through.”
Pursuing the topic further, Dr. Coker conducted an informal opinion poll among her medical peers on social media to gather their views on robotic surgery, later presenting her findings at the 2018 International Hernia Congress in Miami, Florida. Ultimately, Dr. Coker decided that it should be up to each surgery center or hospital to set its own standards and guidelines.
“One of the reasons this is a relevant topic is that we need to learn from our mistakes,” said Dr. Coker, noting the injuries that occurred 30 years ago when laparoscopic surgery was introduced. Dr. Coker highlighted the dramatic improvements we’ve seen in patient outcomes since stricter standards and training requirements were established for laparoscopic surgery.
Jeremy Warren, MD, who specializes in minimally invasive hernia surgery at Greenville Health System in South Carolina, agrees with the importance of establishing robotic steering committees at all surgery centers that offer robotics. Dr. Warren reported to GSN that his institution’s RSC has representation from all its surgical specialties, each of which has derived its own robotic training and credentialing criteria.
Dr. Coker added, “I highly advocate anyone who has robotic technology, or is interested in acquiring it, to start a robotic steering committee to get multiple interested parties involved to start communicating what they think are reasonable guidelines.”
This is curated content. For the full story, read the original article from General Surgery News:
“Robotic Credentialing and Guidelines: Surgeons Urged to Get Seat at Table.”
Image Credits: miVIP Surgery Centers; Intuitive Surgical
Robotics at miVIP Surgery Centers
miVIP Surgery Centers were the first free-standing ambulatory surgery centers in the United States to offer minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgeries. Surgeons at miVIP perform procedures in multiple specialties, including Bariatrics, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Gynecology, ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat), Orthopedics, Podiatry, Spine Health, and Urology, among others.
All miVIP facilities are highly rated, meet or exceed national assurance standards for safety and quality, and are equipped with the latest minimally invasive surgical equipment on the market, including the da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical. Surgeons at miVIP receive additional training, and have achieved a high level of expertise and mastery using robotics — many serve as proctors (peer instructors) to other surgeons seeking additional training and experience using robotic technology. Surgeons at miVIP are assisted by dedicated OR teams who have specialized training and experience in robotics. A number of miVIP centers have been designated National Mentor Observation Sites by Intuitive Surgical.
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