"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Robot is Coming

At our last board meeting, the WMHS Board of Directors voted to support a Finance Committee recommendation to establish a Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery (RALS) Program at our health system.

A number of our surgeons had expressed interest in the RALS program so Nancy Adams, COO / CNE, engaged the services of an independent consultant to determine if such a program would be of value to WMHS and of benefit to the patients that we serve.  After a very thorough analysis, it was recommended that we pursue the DaVinci robot. 

First of all, it’s not really a robot.  As you can see from the photos, the surgeon sits at the video console and operates the four arms and cameras from the console.  Through the RALS program, we can perform a number of surgical cases in our community that were previously referred to academic centers in Baltimore, DC and Pittsburgh.  In addition, all newly trained surgeons are being trained in the robotic assisted laparoscopic surgical technique. And from a patient’s perspective, they recover faster and it is safer than more traditional surgeries. 

Once the DaVinci robot arrives later this month, simulation training will begin for those who have already had previous training in RALS.  A committee will be established to oversee the program, training of staff with occur, policies and procedures will be developed and the credentialing process will begin for our surgical team. 

We are very fortunate to have a surgeon who has performed many cases using RALS prior to coming to WMHS, other surgeons who are currently in training on its use and a Perioperative Director who previously ran a RALS program.  We are most appreciative of our Board of Directors and Finance Committee members who supported the creation of such a program that helps to keep our health system in the forefront of our industry’s latest technological advancements.

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