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Proceedings Paper

Complication rates associated with the introduction of new technology into the clinical health care setting correlate with operator experience and training
Author(s): William A. See; Christopher S. Cooper; Ronald J. Fisher
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Paper Abstract

At three months and at one year following completion of a formal training course in laparoscopic urologic surgery, course participants were surveyed as to their interim laparoscopic experience. Data regarding practice setting, subspecialization, course attendance (alone or with a partner), nature and training of surgical assistant, and additional training subsequent to the course was collected. These variables were then correlated with information on the number and nature of surgical complications encountered subsequent to the course. In the three months following course completion, surgeons who performed clinical procedures without additional training were 3.39 times more likely to have at least one complication compared to surgeons who sought additional training (p = 0.030). One year following course completion surgeons who had attended the training course alone, were in solo practice, or performed laparoscopic surgery with a variable assistant, were, respectively, 4.85, 7.74, and 4.80 times more likely to have had a complication than their counterparts who attend the course with a partner, were in group practice, or who operated with the same assistant (p = 0.004, p = 0.001, and p = 0.002). At both three months and one year following training, laparoscopic complication rates of individual surgeons (number of complications/number of cases) demonstrated a highly significant inverse correlation with the number of laparoscopic procedures performed. These data suggest that the rate of complications associated with the clinical “learning” curve can be decreased by additional education following an initial course in laparoscopy. An ongoing clinical association with surgeons performing similar procedures appears to decrease long-term complication rates. Findings from this study argue for the regulation of the clinical application of new surgical skills acquired in the post-residency setting, and maintenance of the new skills through continuing medical education.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 December 1994
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2307, Health Care Technology Policy I: The Role of Technology in the Cost of Health Care, (6 December 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.195466
Show Author Affiliations
William A. See, Univ. of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (United States)
Christopher S. Cooper, Univ. of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (United States)
Ronald J. Fisher, Univ. of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2307:
Health Care Technology Policy I: The Role of Technology in the Cost of Health Care
Warren S. Grundfest M.D., Editor(s)

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