Imagine a device that records every action inside the operating room – from the surgical team’s conversation to the location of the incision and patient’s vitals – including audio and video from inside the room. Outside the room, a computer would analyze the information, analyze performance, and even notify the surgeon of if he is in the process of making a mistake. This “surgical black box” is no longer imaginary, it is currently in development by Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, a minimally invasive surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
Dr. Grantcharov designed the device to increase patient safety and alert surgeons of potential errors as they occur. Unlike the so-called black boxes in aviation, which are used after disasters occur, the surgical black box Grantcharov is creating will be used proactively to prevent major patient complications.
But the litigious medical environment may make its implementation problematic. If the recordings were used in court, they could open the floodgates to a new wave of malpractice concerns, which would be counterproductive to surgeons and patients, Grantcharov says. If the black box recordings were available for subsequent litigation, one surgeon told CNN that a complete record of every operation could create a “sense of nervousness that would paralyze a surgeon’s ability to operate.”
Read more at CNN.com.