Emory Healthcare's Robotic Institute formed in January 2016 and includes leaders in surgery and administration from Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, and Emory Johns Creek Hospital.
Colorectal surgeon Seth Rosen, MD, who dedicates much of his time to performing, teaching, and developing new techniques related to robotic colorectal surgery, serves as chairperson for Emory's Robotic Institute Committee. The team tracks utilization of robotic surgery throughout Emory Healthcare, including outcomes, quality, cost, and efficiency; identifies areas for improvement; and initiates plans based on its recommendations.
"Since starting the program, we have improved efficiencies and seen robotic-assisted surgery volume increase by 20-30 percent at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown," says Rosen.
The committee is also working to standardize credentialing across the system for all surgeons performing robotic-assisted surgery. Surgeons certified by Emory Healthcare as robotic surgeons will report outcome, quality, and cost data measures, and will also participate in continuing education and may log time in robotic simulators.
The committee is also working to standardize robotic surgical training for surgical residents and fellows throughout Emory's graduate medical education programs.
"Surgeons who train at Emory during their residency will have the opportunity to pursue formalized pathways to robotic certification by the time they complete their program," says Rosen.
The range of Emory Healthcare's Robotic Institute helps ensure the School of Medicine will continue to attract top medical students, who see robotic surgery as an integral part of their education.
Emory Healthcare offers robotic-assisted surgery performed by specialists in urology, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, cardiac and thoracic surgery, otolaryngology, surgical oncology, colon and rectal surgery, and general surgery, with surgeons performing over 100 robotic procedures a month throughout the system.
Robotic-assisted surgery allows physicians to treat patients via a minimally invasive approach, with smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. Patients often benefit from less surgical trauma, minimal scarring, lower incidence of post-operative complications, and shorter recovery times.
Rosen believes the hard work and dedication of the people working in Emory's Robotics Institute Committee will produce a center of excellence in which innovation and collaboration combine to produce exceptional patient care.
"We see tremendous opportunity to enhance the care of our patients and the training of our surgeons," he says.