da Vinci® 360: Innovators Summit Provides Significant Value to Academic Medical Center
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is an academic medical center with educational and research facilities, hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers, and other primary and specialty care facilities serving northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia.
This hospital continues to look for ways to enhance its exposure to other like-minded professionals and institutions, focusing their efforts on collaboration and education of the latest da Vinci technology. This year, two Wake Forest administrators (the Finance Director and Certified Registered Nurse Administrator), along with Dr. James Wudel, a thoracic surgeon, and his wife, an RN who manages his practice, attended the two-day program. As a direct result of their participation at the conference, a series of follow-up meetings and commitments to further the development of the Center’s robotics program were set in motion.
Learning Labs Offer Simulation Opportunities
In fact, while attending one of the learning lab breakouts, the Wake Forest team had an opportunity to demo the da Vinci Skills Simulator™. This simulation-based training can be added to the da Vinci Surgical System to recreate the experience of using robotic-assisted instruments, enabling surgeons a learning environment to develop necessary skills needed to use the da Vinci Surgical System.
The team was impressed with this tool and is considering the purchase of the 3D Systems procedural simulation package as a way to implement the da Vinci simulation into each service line. They also plan to coordinate training programs that align with each specialty, including their fellowship and residency programs.
Conference Serves as Impetus for Creating Steering Committee
Another key takeaway from the conference, the Wake Forest team realized the importance of having a strong, experienced focus on its robotics program. They started down the path of establishing a steering committee that meets on a regular basis and is spearheaded by a robotics program champion, thoracic surgeon Dr. Wudel.
This committee was able to identify a gap in the program and the need for a dedicated robotics coordinator, and has posted this job request on its job board. In addition, the committee developed quarterly robotics “in-service” training for all residents and fellows—full-system, hands-on instrument experience held on one Saturday per quarter with mandated attendance.
Events such as the annual da Vinci 360: Innovators Summit and Intuitive’s resources can help drive acceptance of robotic-assisted surgery and encourage peers to realize the potential for economic and clinical benefits that can potentially be attainable with their robotics program.
“Don’t ever underestimate the value of such awesome events like this,” says Dr. Wudel. “I would love to help share some insight on helping to realize the value of this program to your other customers.”