How Google Glass Can Make Wrong-Side Surgery a True "Never Event"

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Wrong-side surgery is a "never event," says Rafael Grossman, MD, a surgeon at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, because it should never happen. "But it does happen," he said in a recent TEDx talk. "It happens every day."

According to Dr. Grossman, wrong-side surgery happens 40 times per week in the U.S., and medical errors such as wrong-side surgeries are the third leading cause of death in this country.

One of the most commonly used tools to prevent wrong-side surgery are checklists, similar to what a pilot would use before take-off to help ensure a safe flight, says Dr. Grossman. Although many checklists now are done electronically, some are still done with pencil and paper, and most are decades old. "They're not enough anymore," he says.

Using Google Glass — a wearable computer that shows users a display projected in front of them — allows a surgeon to bring the checklist into the OR and have it in front of him. "It lets the checklist come to us in a smart and initiative way," says Dr. Grossman. Having the checklist with the surgeon will be a constant reminder of correct policies and procedures and has the potential to drastically reduce medical errors.

"Google Glass has the potential in healthcare to do incredible things," says Dr. Grossman.

More Articles on Google Glass:

UCSF First to Receive IRB Approval to Use Google Glass During Surgery
Philips Healthcare, Accenture Study Use for Google Glass During Surgery
OSU Surgeon Conducts Live-Streamed Surgery With Google Glass

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