How Methodist Dallas Medical Center cut costs, modernized its OR with da Vinci robotics

The demand for minimally invasive surgery has significantly increased in recent years, with many hospitals and health systems focused on moving open surgery to more minimally invasive surgery to reduce variability in patient care, lowering complication rates and hospital stays.

During an April 1 webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review and sponsored by Intuitive, John Phillips, the president of Methodist Dallas Medical Center, discussed how his health system successfully implemented a robust robotic surgery program using Intutive's da Vinci robotic surgical systems.

He discussed how MDMC successfully optimized its robotics program's clinical and financial performance with the following steps:

  1. View robotics as a service line. MDMC built a strategy based on its goals as a hospital, which requires team members to be educated about robotics in a standardized manner and the hospital to share robotics data transparently.

  2. Implement peer-to-peer training programs. At MDMC, surgeons led robotics efforts and trained new surgeons, as well as collaborated with other hospital staff members to align on the ‘why’ and understand the ‘how to’.

  3. Use analytics to engage physicians and staff. MDMC staff members were educated about what benefits come from a robotics line. For example, physicians were told that for ventral hernia surgeries within MDMC, there was a potential to reduce costs by $1.58 million and cut 712 bed days for procedures that could be addressed robotically, but were done in an open fashion.

  4. Learn how to accurately assess robotics' value. MDMC partnered with Intuitive's market access and custom analytics consulting team, which generated analyses that showed the hospital how its robotics service line was performing and contributing to the hospital's overall goals. These actionable insights enable better strategic decision making for sustainable growth.

  5. Measure your investment. MDMC found that its minimally invasive outpatient hernia line produced 15 percent year-over-year growth in 2017, reduced the average length of stay by 19 hours compared to open surgery and resulted in 69 percent more revenue per case and a 9 percent higher commercial pay rate. It also found that its minimally invasive hysterectomy line produced 8 percent year-over-year growth in 2017, reduced the average length of stay by 33 hours compared to open surgery and resulted in a 47 percent higher commercial pay rate.

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