Mass. ruling addresses concurrent surgeries: 5 things to know

A new regulation recently approved be the Massachusetts medical board would require surgeons to document each time they enter and leave the operating room, according to a report from The Boston Globe.

Here are five things to know about the regulation.

1. It was approved this week by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.

2. Approval of the regulation comes amid increased scrutiny of physicians who perform simultaneous surgeries, according to the report. The Boston Globe notes when surgeons don't document their whereabouts in operative reports, it leaves some patients wondering if their physician actually performed key parts of the procedure, especially when things go wrong.

3. In addition to the rule that would require surgeons to document each time they enter and leave the operating room, the Massachusetts medical board gave the OK for a requirement that the primary surgeon identify the backup physician who would assume responsibility if the first surgeon is going to leave the operating room, according to The Boston Globe.

4. The new regulation involving simultaneous surgeries isn't the only rule approved by the Massachusetts medical board this week. According to the report, the board also approved the following regulation changes.

  • A requirement that physicians report peers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs while on duty
  • An expansion of online physician profiles to include out-of-state malpractice judgments and settlements involving Massachusetts physicians

5. All of the new rules need the approval of several state agencies by the end of March before they can take effect.

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