Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. While misdiagnoses are among the most common types of medical errors that occur, many medical mistakes also take place in operating rooms as patients are undergoing surgery.
Wrong-site surgery, leaving foreign objects in patients and other preventable surgical errors could soon be a problem of the past, however, some are now saying. That’s because, as they contend, installing a new “black box” in operating rooms could be the key to identifying surgery mistakes and taking the necessary steps to prevent them from every happening again.
A Closer Look at the Black Box for ORs
The so-called black box for operating rooms is basically a camera that records the audio-visual feed from the OR in sync with the patient’s physical data – like his or her heartbeat and vital signs.
The idea is that this black box could better pinpoint when a surgical mistake occurred, why it most likely happened, who was responsible for it and, perhaps most importantly, what steps can be taken to prevent the same error from happening again in the future.
This black box was developed by a Toronto surgeon, and it is currently lined up to be tested in at least two hospitals in the U.S.
As Teodor P. Grantcharov, a surgery professor at the University of Toronto, has explained, “If we don’t know what we’re doing wrong, we’ll never improve… This is what many other high-performance industries have been using for decades.”
Wisconsin Bill Pushes to Require Cameras in ORs
As medical professionals and others eagerly await the findings from the initial tests of the OR black boxes, interestingly, this testing is not the only push behind the movement to get cameras in operating rooms. In fact, a bill that was recently proposed in Wisconsin is seeking to require cameras in every OR in the state, allowing patients to choose if or when they want their surgery recorded.
As Wade Ayer, who helped draft this bill, explained, this bill “offers transparency, truth and accuracy… in collecting data for the medical record and testimony. It offers data and insight for medical boards and even prosecutors. It offers oversight and policing.”
Many believe that having cameras in ORs could only help patients and doctors, preventing harm to patients while mitigating medical mistakes and liability to surgeons; however, some have expressed serious concerns about how such cameras could impact privacy issues (among other things).
What do you think about the idea of having cameras in operating rooms to record surgeries and try to prevent medical mistakes? Share your opinions with us on Facebook & Google+.
Contact a Mount Vernon Medical Malpractice Lawyer at the Law Firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C.
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