Tam 2018

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Proficiency-based Training and Credentialing Can Improve Patient Outcomes and Decrease Cost to a Hospital System

Vernissia Tam, Jeffrey Borrebach, Stefanie Altieri Dunn, Johanna Bellon, Herbert J.Zeh, Melissa E.Hogg


While proficiency-based robotic training has been shown to enhance skill acquisition, no studies have shown that training leads to improved outcomes or quality measures.


Board-certified general surgeons participated in an optional proficiency-based robotic training curriculum and outcomes from robotic hernia cases were analyzed. Multivariable analysis was performed for operative times to adjust for patient and surgical variables.


Six out of 16 (38%) surgeons completed training and 210 robotic hernia cases were analyzed. Longer operative times were associated with bilateral repairs (observed-to-expected operative time ratio [OTR] = 1.41, p < 0.001) and incarceration (OTR = 1.24, p = 0.006), while female patients (OTR = 0.87, p = 0.001) and increasing chronologic case order (OTR = 0.94, p < 0.001) were associated with shorter operative times. Surgeons who completed robotic training achieved shorter OTRs than those who did not (p = 0.03). Comparing non-risk adjusted hospital costs, trainees had an average of $1207 in savings (20% reduction) per robotic hernia case.


A structured proficiency-based robotics training curriculum is an effective way to reduce operative times and costs.

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