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Site of Surgery Assistant

by Srin Dutt, MD

To further decrease wrong site surgeries that continue to occur, we have developed an app that uses pictorial markers on anatomical drawings, which are more efficient than text alone.

Brooksville, FL Surgical safety tool

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About this project

The problem we solve:
Focused on surgical safety, we have been working on an application to improve site of surgery accuracy using pictorial markers and visual patient consent. Every year wrong site surgeries continue to occur despite precautions, checklists, numerous protocols, and education programs. Approximately 1 in 100,000 surgical cases will result in this never event. Numerous slip errors occur with charting, at time of scheduling, in pre-op intake, and during operative preparation.

About our solution:
To prevent many of these errors, we have developed an iOS App called Site of Surgery Assistant. It creates a pictorial marker which is printed on a secure wristband and chart stickers. It is also created at the time of the surgical decision between patient and surgeon. Pictorial processing is faster and more accurate than text or verbal communication. A pictorial marker on a wristband, representing the anatomical surgical site, is used to graphically mark the area of surgery. This would be done at the time of surgical decision making between patient and doctor, so that no other errors can be introduced. Both would sign to confirm agreement. This App improves system design by minimizing human error, provides redundancy to checklists and chart review, provides constraints to force desired functions, provides an easily accepted standardized technique, and simplifies the process. It is fast to create, intuitive to use, effective, and inexpensive.
Progress to date: This App is available for free download from the Apple App store and will run on iPhone and iPad. It was just approved for publishing in the App store and is now being used in an outpatient surgery center. It is proving to be helpful, receiving praise from physicians, OR techs, pre-op nurses, and patients. This App would be of benefit to any patient undergoing a surgery or procedure. We would like to see additional utilization of this App, as it has the potential to further reduce surgical site errors.

About Our Team

Srin Dutt, MD
Ophthalmology , Practicing Physician
Medical school: University of Michigan
Bio: Practicing physician. While working on another project I had an idea of using pictorial information to more efficiently mark a surgical site at the time a decision is made about surgery
Title: Physician Leader

About Our Company

Location: Brooksville, Florida
Product stage: ready
Sales: Working on it
Employees: 1-2

How We Help Patients

Site of surgery errors will be reduced. This will avoid traumatic effects on patients, surgeons, and facilities. This process also stimulates the safety protocols that should be used with every surgical procedure. Patients also become partners in their own care. They understand more clearly about what is being done and actively give their consent.

How We Help Education

Shifting to a pictorial system would make some healthcare functions more intuitive. Combining information technology with healthcare will make it more efficient, easy to use, and enjoyable. This would be analogous to going from DOS to Windows and its graphical user interface. Younger physicians will probably adapt to this more rapidly. They also need to develop a systems approach to solving problems. Instead of placing all responsibility on one individual, systematic checks can be applied so that the entire healthcare system is involved in ensuring the correct surgical site. This pictorial method is one such useful check.

How We Help Physicians

In this high paced and high stress healthcare environment, physicians as well as other healthcare personnel need tools to assist them in achieving the correct outcomes. Regarding never events such as wrong site surgeries, this is paramount. Pictorial processing of information is faster and more accurate and more intuitive than text alone. By selecting a surgical anatomical site and marking it, the surgeon can accurately confirm the surgical site and convey this information to the rest of the healthcare team. Then the patient can affirm the correct procedure and site. This is all done at the time of surgical decision making between patient and physician so that errors cannot be introduced at later steps during scheduling, pre-operative preparation, or operating room procedure. Following the systems approach to reducing errors, this adds a useful check to prevent a never event.

Challenge Mission

Mission: This pictorial marking idea was a physician led innovation that was created to help physicians, patients, and healthcare systems work together to prevent never events such as wrong site surgeries.
Use of funds: Funds would be applied to improving on the design and interface. Additionally funds would be used to educate physicians, patients, and healthcare systems on the benefits of this pictorial marking system.
Intellectual Property Status: This concept is patent pending.
FDA Status: N/A
Personal Message: We would like to see additional utilization of this App, as it has the potential to further reduce surgical site errors.














Srin Dutt, MD
Physician Leader
University of Michigan

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