Video Cameras in the OR May be Inevitable

Cheryl Clark, April 11, 2013

Most doctors think having video cameras and microphones in their ORs to record surgical procedures is an idea from hell itself: tantamount to having dreaded big brother —who's also a lawyer—standing beside them while they cut.

But videography is a great way to stimulate quality improvement and some say it's poised to take off.

One of the idea's foremost champions is breast surgeon Caprice Greenberg, MD, director of the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program. Greenberg wants surgeons to record their procedures much more proactively than they do today, and not just to incent prevention of horrific surgical mistakes.

Greenberg says there's an awful lot OR teams don't realize they could learn from reviewing their own and their colleagues' procedures, such as improving techniques, streamlining efficiencies and even figuring out better ways to recover from surprise disasters.

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"There's the potential for video to be used in a really positive way, to improve the quality and safety of healthcare," she explains. "We're interested in seeing the operation, and linking it to what's happening in the room; we're trying to look at how people interact."

Greenberg says that if hospitals and operators don't take the bull by the horns and drive their own quality improvements, they may be forced to do so. And they won't like that one bit.


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