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Reducing surgical errors with virtual reality

For many patients in North Carolina, the thought of going to the operating table with an inexperienced or under-trained surgeon may seem like a recipe for disaster. One orthopedic surgeon agrees, and he is working with the manufacturers of medical devices to create virtual training systems that can enhance surgeons' knowledge of innovative devices. By improving surgeons' level of training, the software can also help to widen the adoption of newer precision technologies in hospitals that had previously lagged behind.

Many medical device companies are concerned that their products could be used incorrectly, especially when this could lead to poor patient outcomes as well as liability. By working with a virtual reality software program, these companies can help reduce the risk of surgical errors when surgeons use newer devices in the operating room. The virtual reality program, called Osso VR, provides hands-on training that allows surgeons to immerse themselves in a virtual reality environment and perform virtual operations. This kind of immersive training can give surgeons meaningful experience with innovative surgical options.

Many hospitals and surgeons continue to use existing technologies because they and their staff are well-trained on the procedure. Introducing new technologies can mean extensive, expensive training. However, this program makes use of design models from the medical device manufacturers as well as advanced virtual reality systems. Not only can a surgeon perform a virtual procedure, they can engage in joint training with their staff in a virtual operating room.

Whether new and unfamiliar devices or surgical standards are involved, a surgical error can be devastating for a patient. Incorrect surgeries and other physician or hospital mistakes could lead to disability, death or a worsened medical condition. Patients who have suffered due to a doctor error may benefit from consulting with a medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer might review a case and provide advice about how best to move forward.

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Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP

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