Humber River Hospital Installs the OR Black Box® Platform in 3 General Surgery Operating Rooms, Part of a Research Project with SST
“It’s the strangest thing to be a surgeon,” says Dr. John Hagen, the Chief of Surgery at Humber River Hospital, “Because other than your patient results, you don’t really have any way of knowing how you’re doing or what areas you could improve.”
Aware of the profound impact that recording technology had on the aviation industry in reducing errors and saving lives, Dr. Hagen has welcomed a similar technology into 3 of the 16 Humber River Hospital operating rooms: the OR Black Box.
The OR Black Box is a research collaboration with Surgical Safety Technologies (SST), which is headquartered in St. Michael’s Hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.
How does it work?
This technology (which includes cameras, audio equipment, an extremely powerful computer, specialized analyzing software and much more) captures what goes on during surgery, including conversation, number of people in the room, how many times the door to the OR opens and closes and patient vital signs.
A computer algorithm detects and flags moments of interest to be evaluated by an independent third-party, and areas for improvement are reported back to the Hospital. The laparoscopic videos (footage taken by cameras inside the patient) are analyzed and can be reviewed by the Humber River Hospital surgeons to see where improvements in technique could be made.
All of these features offer surgeons a unique opportunity to learn and improve skills anonymously, resulting in better patient outcomes.
St. Michael’s Hospital is the headquarters for the Black Box project and collects data from participating hospitals across Canada in the hopes of one day sharing consolidated results, trends, and learnings with the international medical community, with the purpose of one day ushering in a new wave of surgical safety and knowledge. Humber is proudly at the forefront of this international research project to improve surgical safety thanks to the support from our donors.
The Black Box Technology at Humber River Hospital was made possible by a generous donation from the Paul B. Helliwell Foundation.
“I think consistently learning and improving is essential in any field but when it comes to surgery, it’s perhaps even more vital,” says John Jenah, President of the Paul B. Helliwell Foundation. “Patients should feel reassured that Humber is investing in this practice. Humber and Dr. Hagen care deeply about their surgical staff being the best they can possibly be but also about sharing knowledge with others in the field. I’m so proud that the Paul B. Helliwell Foundation is on the ground floor of bringing this technology to Humber River Hospital.”