Why to start a robotic surgery program?
It appears to be clear that most of the surgical procedures that now we perform with conventional endoscopic instruments will migrate to robotization in a short period of time.
Some years ago the reasons to start a robotic surgical program were the technological positioning in a competitive market and to offer cutting edge surgery. Today, although still dealing with efficiency and optimization of outcomes, the expansion of minimally invasive surgery by robotic surgery programs is already a fact.
So it is more a matter of not being left behind and taking advantage of the known and the unpredictable possibilities.
The Robotic Surgery Committee
Organization in paramount. The robotic surgery program is an investment of strategic magnitude. Adequate management is paramount.
Who is in the Robotic Surgery Committee? It might vary among Hospitals but there are three basic components.
The committee must have executive power. Might be the Hospital Director or Medical Director. Also counselling from the financial area.
General Surgeon Urologist Gynaecologist Head&Neck Surgeon Thoracic Surgeon Paediatric Surgeon
OR coordination & others
Surgical area management, nursing supervisor. Others: Quality Area, teaching/fellow/university, Marketing…
The clues for success
- Leadership. Passionate for technology and minimally invasive surgery. Able to connect with colleagues and patients. A communicator. Respected by colleagues and the surgical team. Committed with the operational and economic performance of the program. Committed to grow.
- Robotic surgery committee. This must be a priority in the Institution. The committee coordinates the program, organizes the surgical time, evaluates efficiency and innovations, advises for new acquisitions…
- Surgeons, technically excellent in minimally invasive surgery.
- Surgical team. Excellent and committed. Oriented management of the surgical area. Dedicated OR. Surgical schedule: block time (no first come, first serve). Working every day, all day around.
- Strong representative of the company (Intuitive, Medtronic, CMR…).
- Internal and external communication: drive the robot events, tell your story…
- Monitor the outcomes. Open discussions, transparency.
- Celebrate the milestones.
Everybody knows what needs to be done. Just do it.
J Granell. May 2023.