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Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

Recording Surgeries? Surgical Black Boxes?

video taping surgeryInteresting article just appeared in the National Law Review about the possibly of recording surgeries, creating so-called "surgical black boxes" to look for mistakes and mishaps in surgery that might explain adverse events.   The article says researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a black box tool to track surgeries.   Moreover, a Wisconsin lawmaker has introduced legislation that would give patients and families the option of filming their surgeries.  Not surprisingly, the Wisconsin Hospital Association and Wisconsin Medical Society are opposed to the legislation...they are afraid the tapes could be used against physicians in court. Several years ago I remember talking to a veteran defense lawyer about taping different operations and medical procedures.  This lawyer, who had defended many "bad baby" cases in his career, said it was an absolutely "stupid idea" when OB/GYNs told new dads they could not record the birth of their children.  The lawyer stated that more often times than not the video recordings proved the doctors and nurses did a good job despite the bad outcome.  We threw away a lot of great evidence, said the lawyer.

Remember, the true hallmark of a great disclosure program is telling a patient/family there was a mistake or error even if the family doesn't suspect something went wrong.  So, in this vein, why be afraid of video taping surgeries and other major medical procedures?   Why should we be afraid of the truth when we are supposed to truthful at all times??

What do you think?   I would like to hear your comments at our blog.

Here is the link for the National Law Review article.

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Sincerely,

- Doug Wojcieszak, Founder, Sorry Works!

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