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Authors Jaffe TA, Hasday SJ, Knol M, Pradarelli J, Quamme SRP, Greenberg CC, Dimick JB
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Journal J. Surg. Res. Volume: 218 Pages: 361-366
Publish Date 2017 Oct
PubMed ID 28985875

There exists a tension between surgical innovation and safety. The learning curve associated with the introduction of new procedures/technologies has been associated with preventable patient harm. Surgeon’s perceptions regarding the safety of methods for learning new procedures/technologies are largely uncharacterized.A survey was designed to evaluate surgeons’ perceptions related to learning new procedures/technologies. This included clinical vignettes across two domains: (1) experience with an operation (e.g., colectomy) and (2) experience with a technology (e.g., laparoscopy). This study also focuses on a surgeon’s perceptions of existing credentialing/privileging requirements. Participants were faculty surgeons (n = 150) at two large Midwestern academic health centers.Survey response rate was 77% (116/150). 69% of respondents believed the processes of credentialing/privileging is “far too relaxed” or “too relaxed” for ensuring patient safety. Surgeons most commonly indicated a mini-fellowship is required to learn a new laparoscopic procedure. However, that requirement differed based on a surgeon’s prior experience with laparoscopy. For example, to learn laparoscopic colectomy, 35% of respondents felt a surgeon with limited laparoscopic experience should complete a mini-fellowship, whereas 3% felt this was necessary if the surgeon had extensive laparoscopic experience. In the latter scenario, most respondents felt a surgeon should scrub in cases performed by an expert (38%) or perform cases under a proctor’s supervision (33%) when learning laparoscopic colectomy.Many surgeons believe existing hospital credentialing/privileging practices may be too relaxed. Moreover, surgeons believe the “one-size-fits-all” approach for training practicing surgeons may not protect patients from unsafe introduction of new procedures/technologies. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System