Surgical Black Boxes? Cameras in the Operating Room?
From time to time news stories pop up regarding a Wisconsin man and his followers who are trying to introduce legislation that will require hospitals in certain states to install so-called surgical black boxes in the operating room. Talk about a legislative long-shot. If we had taken this approach with disclosure, we would have nothing to show for our efforts.
Instead of playing the political game, these folks would be better off trying to convince one hospital -- 1 hospital! -- to try the surgical black box approach (or something similar to it) and share their results. I don't believe the concept is all that radical. We already have many different ways of recording/documenting what happens in an operating room or other medical settings, including patients with their smart phones!
In my travels, I have met many attorneys and risk/claims managers who are very supportive of the idea. I'll never forget the seasoned defense attorney in Oklahoma who told me it was a "stupid" move for the OB/GYNs to kicks cameras and camcorders out of the delivery room. "Those home movies usually supported my defense arguments," explained the attorney. An experienced risk manager said the more information we have, the better chance we have of learning the truth, fixing any problems, and reaching fair resolutions. And there have been many more positive comments through the years. Indeed, this is NOT a radical idea, yet in the legislative arena anything that is even remotely "pro consumer" is going to get shot down by healthcare lobbyists. It's what those folks are paid to do.
So, I am hoping this post will find some receptive heads and hearts in the c-suite of just one healthcare organization. It only takes one hospital! And I hope consumer advocates will learn from this post -- you don't always need legislation to improve healthcare. In fact, legislation should be the last resort. .
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