Journal Article

Facilitation of surgical innovation: is it possible to speed the introduction of new technology while simultaneously improving patient safety?

Marcus RK; Lillemoe HA; Caudle AS; Weinberg JS; Gidley PW; Skibber JM; Levenback CF; Swisher SG; Aloia TA.

Although the introduction of new technology in health care is crucial for advancing patient care, unintended consequences are a well-recognized safety challenge. In the field of surgery, innovation ranges from small improvements to drastic change, but there is no clearly established model for evaluating proposed innovations. This study examined the impact of a team of surgical quality officers and perioperative nurses tasked with reviewing proposed surgical innovations, including novel devices and procedures at a single cancer center. Investigators found that compared to the prior processes in place, this team evaluated new products more quickly, decreased the time between product proposal and the intraoperative trial if necessary, and reduced the rate of device-related complications from 10% to 0%. A past PSNet perspective discussed the evolution of patient safety in the field of surgery.