Oct 23

The Robotics Program: Purpose (2 of 9)

Introduction October 23, 2017 164 0 By - Dr. Terry Loftus, MD, MBA, FACS

There are key elements to any successful Robotics Program. It begins with having a purpose. Everyone on your team must understand the “why”. In summary, it is because a formal organized approach to delivering robotic assisted surgery produces better outcomes at a lower cost compared to not having a program. As pointed out in a previous post, the complication rate of a poorly-structured program was 46% greater than a program that was highly-structured. A similar observation was made with cost. The cost in a poorly-structured program was 37% higher compared to a highly-structured program. In this series, we’ll describe what differentiates these two types of programs. First, let’s define what a Robotics Program is.

A robotics program is a facility or system based program, which uses a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to implementing, supporting and utilizing robotically assisted technology for surgical procedures. A robotics program is the overarching structure, whereas, a robotics committee is the formal executive arm which provides oversight in determining how that structure is integrated into the system and how it performs. Every leader on the committee and every person associated with this program must understand why the program exists. It helps to have a written purpose statement. Below is an example to consider for your program.

The purpose of the Robotics Program is to:

  • Improve outcomes for patient care
  • Create a great experience for our patients
  • Support best practice use of the robot
  • Enhance the work place experience of the staff providing care to patients undergoing robotic assisted surgery
  • Continuously learn from our Performance Improvement Program
  • Optimize the utilization of robots
  • Decrease the total cost of care of surgery

A deeper dive into a program’s purpose should reveal a program’s values. Looking at the above purpose statement, one can immediately see this is a program that values: improving outcomes, great experience for patients, supporting best practice, enhancing the experience of staff, continuously learning, optimizing utilization and decreasing the total cost of care. The program must embed the values of its members into its purpose. An engaging purpose is the first step in building a successful program.

Dr. Loftus has over 30 years of experience as a Healthcare Industry provider and executive. He has held leadership roles in large integrated delivery networks where he served as Medical Director for Surgical Services & Clinical Resources and successfully implemented a Robotics Program. Dr. Loftus is a speaker and consultant for various firms in the Robotic surgery and medical devices space. He currently works as a CMO for HCA, Medical City Fort Worth. To learn more, go to http://loftushealth.com and download a free PDF copy of The Robotics Program: A How-to-Guide for Physician Leaders on Starting Up a Successful Program.

Dr. Terry Loftus, MD, MBA, FACS
Dr. Terry Loftus, MD, MBA, FACS
President at Loftus Health

Dr. Terry Loftus is the President of Loftus Health a healthcare consulting company committed to educating physician leaders on how to successfully implement programs that improve the delivery of healthcare. Prior to this, Dr. Loftus was the Medical Director of Surgical Services & Clinical Resources for Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona. His undergrad work and MBA are from Arizona State University and his Medical Degree is from the University of Arizona. He completed a residency in General Surgery at the University of Utah and a Trauma Surgery and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Maryland’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Loftus is also a graduate of the Advanced Training Program for Executives and Quality Improvement Leaders sponsored by Intermountain Healthcare’s Institute for Healthcare Delivery Research. Dr. Loftus has served in various leadership roles including Chief Medical Officer as well as a Medical Director of a Surgical Intensive Care and a Level 1 Trauma Center. He is board certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, and is a Fellow in the American College of Surgery.


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