Orthopedics This Week published an article: CMS Wants More Tender Loving Care? + Simulation or Hands-On Bioskills? + Checklists Cut Death Rates 47% Marketing 101 for Surgeons. The article focuses on four main sectors of the medical industry – patient care, surgical skill, surgical organization, and accessible education. Each element analyzes how to improve overall patient satisfaction.

Peter Millett, M.D., Director of Shoulder Surgery at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, was selected to discuss the topic of surgical skill. Practice makes perfect, and without hands-on experience surgeons cannot produce an optimal outcome. The Steadman Clinic offers a fellowship-training program that allows trainees to get hands on practice in the bioskills lab. “It’s like a flight simulator for pilots. You create potentially real surgical scenarios where it’s acceptable for the trainee to be less than perfect so they can practice, improve, and learn from their mistakes,” said Dr. Millett. Along with being able to practice surgical technique and skill, the trainees at The Steadman Clinic are also advised by experts in their field, like Dr. Millett.

With a growing focus on patient satisfaction, the industry is beginning to recognize that hands-on, surgical experience is essential to producing better outcomes for patients. Today, several major manufactures offer fellowship-training programs that focus on lab experience.

The greatest obstacle that surgical skill currently faces is an exact measurement of performance. Quantifying surgical skill on a satisfactory level is difficult to objectify. “The credentialing bodies are trying to make headway in defining these things, but we still have a long way to go,” said Dr. Millett. Producing a quantifiable measurement will increase the level of surgical skill, and ultimately increase the level of patient satisfaction.

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