Operations and Other Technology

Innovating for Minimally Invasive Care

October 1, 2020 1:42 pm

How do you help healthcare organizations?

For more than 25 years, Intuitive has provided innovative, robotic-assisted surgery devices that empower doctors and hospitals to help make surgery less invasive. More than seven million procedures have been performed with the company’s da Vinci® system worldwide, and more than 5,500 units have been placed globally.

Intuitive emphasizes a strategic approach to robotic-assisted surgery program implementation, working closely with a hospital or health system’s physician and administrative leaders. It offers an ecosystem of support, including strategic consulting, experienced technical services, extensive training and education, and customized data and analytics to help customers get the most out of their robotic-assisted surgery programs.

This year, as COVID-19 changed the healthcare landscape, Intuitive immediately focused on the health and well-being of its customers, employees and communities. Intuitive established new health and safety protocols for its employees, and the company worked through the Intuitive Foundation to produce and donate PPE to customers in the communities where Intuitive operates. In fact, as of this summer, Intuitive has produced more than 1 million pieces of PPE.

In addition, because Intuitive works closely with its customers, it is familiar with the financial realities they face during this pandemic, including the impact of the decline in elective surgery and the focus on treating COVID patients. In response, Intuitive has implemented a customer financial relief program to offer more flexible financing as well as service credits for lower da Vinci® system utilization in 2020. Intuitive estimates the customer relief program will provide $80 million to $110 million in assistance.

What are some of the biggest challenges you see affecting healthcare organizations?

Minimally invasive surgery — including laparoscopic, video-assisted thoracoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery — is helping change how hospitals and health systems approach complex operations.

Rising consumerism, shrinking margins, mounting regulatory complexity and an expanding physician, and nursing shortage are creating a perfect storm of challenges, prompting organizations to rethink care delivery. It is in this context that many hospitals and health systems are striving to achieve the Quadruple Aim — optimizing performance, reducing care costs, enhancing the patient experience and increasing provider satisfaction. A well-crafted robotic-assisted surgery program has the potential to help organizations in this effort.

How does your product offering address these needs?

Intuitive’s da Vinci® surgical systems represent the latest technological advancements. The system delivers an immersive experience with enhanced visualization, dexterity, precision and ergonomic comfort. Looking ahead to a post-COVID world, Intuitive is continuing to invest in improvements to its robotic-surgical systems, recognizing that high-quality minimally invasive surgery is likely to become even more important in the coming years.

In addition to our commitment to technological innovation, we are passionate about helping organizations improve care delivery. And we firmly believe that a great surgical tool is only part of the improvement equation. To see meaningful change, a robotic-assisted surgery system must smoothly integrate into an organization’s care delivery framework and care team structure, which may help create opportunities for improved outcomes.

We work with our customers to onboard and optimize their use of a da Vinci® system. This includes leveraging an organization’s own data to better understand the clinical, financial and operational performance of not only the robotic-assisted surgical system but the care team and operating room workflows, too. By directly engaging with hospital teams, Intuitive helps to analyze their system data to gain valuable performance insights, including instrument and accessory utilization and process efficiency. By employing data to uncover opportunities to standardize and streamline, we strive to help customers build programs and improve efficiency to innovate for minimally invasive care.

What are some key considerations for healthcare leaders when choosing this type of product?

One thing that sets Intuitive apart is our ability to provide data analytics. A robotic-assisted surgery platform that offers rich data insights allows an organization to pinpoint shortfalls in utilization, quality and performance. All the da Vinci® systems are equipped with data analytics capabilities that can provide meaningful insights into surgeon and hospital performance. Organizations can use these insights to refine their robotic-
assisted surgery programs.

To further support customers with their data analytics, Intuitive also has a market access and custom analytics team that can provide insights on reimbursement and market trends. Information from this group can support organizations’ payer and employer relation strategies and assist with larger strategic decisions.

In addition to data analytics, Intuitive offers change management strategies aligned to the goals of the surgical, anesthesia, nursing and hospital executive teams. Onboarding a robotic-assisted surgical program can be challenging. We collaborate with customers to tackle any constraints and cultural roadblocks that may be impacting the organization’s ability to realize full potential from their
robotic-assisted surgical systems.

As healthcare organizations implement robotic-assisted surgery into their day-to-day operations, how can they set themselves up for success?

Laying the foundation for a robotic surgery program is essential to get the most benefit out of the platform. Setting up a multidisciplinary steering committee can be a good first step. This group can guide the technology’s selection, implementation and optimization. An ideal steering committee may include physicians, operating room nurses, financial leaders, senior leadership, data analysts and representatives from Intuitive.

Comprehensive training for physicians, nurses and other clinicians in the OR is
critical — and the more detailed and hands-on the training experience, the better. Intuitive provides a wide range of training resources, including online training, continuing education, year-round peer-to-peer education, team-oriented workshops and skills simulation. We are also able to come onsite to provide detailed education that covers everything from supplies to instrumentation to ways to help improve efficiency. This deep dive can help get everyone facing in the same direction from the beginning.

Finally, Intuitive offers dynamic dashboards with key performance indicators to help hospitals and surgeons visualize their performance over time. This information can be shared across an organization’s team to underscore the importance of continuous improvement and change. Organizational leadership can then set expectations and reinforce a culture of data-driven performance improvement, which may help all their stakeholders appreciate that introducing a robotic-assisted surgery platform is not the end goal. This work is just the beginning of a journey toward helping organizations create more efficient, cost-effective and high-quality care grounded in a first-class patient and provider experience.

About Intuitive

Intuitive (NASDAQ: ISRG), headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is a global technology leader in minimally invasive care and the pioneer of robotic-assisted surgery. At Intuitive, our mission statement is we believe that minimally invasive care is life-enhancing care. Through ingenuity and intelligent technology, we expand the potential of physicians to heal without constraints.

Intuitive brings more than two decades of leadership in robotic-assisted surgical technology and solutions to its offerings, and develops, manufactures and markets the da Vinci® surgical system and the Ion endoluminal system.

About the da Vinci Surgical System

There are several models of the da Vinci® surgical system. The da Vinci® surgical systems are designed to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery. Da Vinci® systems offer surgeons high-definition 3D vision, a magnified view, and robotic and computer assistance. They use specialized instrumentation, including a miniaturized surgical camera and wristed instruments (i.e., scissors, scalpels and forceps) that are designed to help with precise dissection and reconstruction deep inside the body.

For more information, please visit the company website at www.intuitive.com.

For Important Safety Information, indications for use, risks, full cautions and warnings, please refer to www.intuitive.com/safety.

© 2020 Intuitive Surgical, Inc. All rights reserved. Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. See www.intuitive.com/trademarks. PN 1076556 RevA, 08/2020

This published piece is provided solely for informational purposes. HFMA does not endorse the published material or warrant or guarantee its accuracy. The statements and opinions by participants are those of the participants and not those of HFMA. References to commercial manufacturers, vendors, products, or services that may appear do not constitute endorsements by HFMA.


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