Video Cameras in the OR May be Inevitable
For example, at Rhode Island Hospital, state health officials issued a $150,000 fine and a consent decree for the 719-bed Providence facility to begin using cameras in the operating room after five wrong-site surgeries occurred there between 2007 and 2009.
The procedures were not recorded, but were streamed so that they could be viewed remotely, in real time. The consent decree was for all surgeries to be observed for one year, but the hospital has continued the practice on a random basis "to ensure quality and safety," a spokeswoman says.
"My worry," Greenberg says, "is that as surgeons, if we don't try to drive this movement, other people are going to start using this to police what happens, more as a punitive thing, which I think would be really damaging."
She isn't talking about widespread adoption of tiny cameras on the tips of surgical scopes, which most hospitals have today in many of their operating suites for laparoscopic procedures.
Greenberg's talking about high-resolution videography equipment embedded in operating room lights, and other cameras with 270-degree views in the room, and harmonizing feeds from the anesthesiologist's monitor.
They'd be synchronized with hi-fi microphones to "capture a view of the operative field in detail, a view of the entire OR, a dynamic record of the patient's vital signs and various conversations occurring throughout the OR, in synchrony," according to a 2012 report for which she was a principal investigator.
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