Eyes on the OR

Monitoring system designed to promote culture of safety

A sophisticated monitoring system has been installed in four operating rooms at Stanford Hospital to capture everything that happens during surgical procedures.

Stanford Hospital is the first to install the technology on the West Coast. Called OR Black Box, it is designed to improve training and promote a culture of safety.

It records all activity during a procedure, including the surgical team’s actions and performance, distractions in the room, patient vital signs, equipment malfunctions and other factors that might affect the outcome of a procedure.

“I was inspired by aviation and what made aviation the safest form of transportation,” said the technology’s inventor, Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD, who recently joined the Stanford School of Medicine as a professor of surgery and associate chief quality officer for innovation and safety at Stanford Health Care.

“Our patients are not aircraft, but a lot of the methods — the culture, the approach to safety, the never-ending pursuit of ‘safer’ — is transferable,” he said.

The information gathered by the technology will be used to pinpoint opportunities for improvements in efficiency, collaboration or safety.

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Nina Bai

Nina Bai is a science writer in the Stanford Medicine Office of Communications.

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