Toronto Hospital Uses Black Box in Operating Room to Address Medical Malpractice

Toronto Doctor Develops System for Gathering Information to Reduce Potential Malpractice

In an effort to provide doctors with more constructive information, and to minimize the risk of medical malpractice, a Canadian surgeon, Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, has developed a “black box” technology for use in the operating room, similar to the device used to gather critical information in airline malfunctions and accidents. The device is currently being tested at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

After observing that many surgeons operated with little or no feedback or supervision, Dr. Grantcharov systematically identified all the various tools that could be used to gather information during a surgical procedure. Working directly with officials from Air Canada, he put together a means for real-time tracking of dialogue and action (through the use of cameras), as well as critical patient information, such as blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.

Though the black box technology has only been in use for about six months, and there has not been enough time to conduct a meaningful analysis, Dr. Grantcharov contends that it has already benefited doctors and patients. Since the implementation of the technology, he has seen an elevated level of preparation by medical professionals at his hospital. He is working with Google to determine whether the company’s computerized eyewear can be integrated into the technology, so that observers can work with surgeons to make real time adjustments.

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