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Advanced, 3-D and film courses offer valuable training to surgeons

Potential users, surgical residents, surgical trainers, and surgeons, cope with an ever-increasing workload and need tools to relieve work pressure and improve quality. One EU-supported project has developed an online-training tool to help with that workload.

Health

The SurgASSIST project has developed a worldwide, surgical online training tool to offer high quality training to surgical residents while saving the time of surgical trainers. EU support to the SurgASSIST project helped them to develop 260 surgical courses, bringing the Incision Academy from 40 to now 300+ courses. “All courses (where applicable) contain the 3D video and the 3D anatomical model with merged reality. So, in fact most of the Academy as it stands today has been created as part of the EU project,” explains Ritsaart van Montfrans, CEO of Incision, the company behind the project. The Incision approach differs from other, similar initiatives in the sense that it strives to achieve standardisation in surgery, as a way to allow the best exchange of knowledge and skills between surgical professionals worldwide. “We created the language and methodology of the Academy in the first phase, which allows us to define and reach a standardised approach. Subsequently, we created all the courses with this methodology in mind.” van Montfrans says. To bring the benefit of this approach and the in-depth course to the healthcare professionals who stand to benefit, the project worked with European surgical societies and leading surgeons to develop the content. The Incision team went into the hospitals in which they work to film, a vital component of the online courses. “It was often a lengthy process to get permission to film in the OR,” says van Montfrans, “but once we showed the manner in which we worked, we quickly got the support from the hospital management. Executing the European Horizon2020 project also helped us; it made it clear to all our hospital partners that our efforts are part of an ambitious and long-term plan.” This long-term plan has certainly gained traction. “We are very proud to have achieved the ‘gold standard’ accreditation of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, one of the very few institutions worldwide that provide such a high-quality accreditation. Incision is the first online Academy to have been awarded it.” But the team is not resting on their laurels. They intend to develop further, into a platform to share surgical knowledge and will be going deeper in terms of surgical content per procedure. “By this we mean identifying the various variations that exist to execute surgical procedures and their drivers. Also, we will be incorporating more external video content into our Academy, in order to better guide surgical teams to improve their performance in the OR. We will be working to distribute the Academy all over the world, so we can improve as many surgical procedures as we can.” Incision is able to build on the ground work established by the SurgASSIST project to start connecting surgical professionals worldwide in the language and methodology they have created. The team believes their approach, and focus on the highest quality, has really set them apart from other initiatives. The project has definitely achieved its goal of improving quality of surgical education and saving surgical trainers’ time. The feedback they have consistently received reveals this in all the activity reviews they have performed. “We are also now able to present business cases to our clients that show the impact that we can achieve with the Incision Academy. Our approach saves time and costs in education, and, in the medium to long-term, improves OR efficiency by reducing delays. Along with, of course, the improvements in quality of surgical care.”

Keywords

SurgASSIST, surgery, courses, online, academy, Incision, 3D, surgical online training

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