5 Reasons Every Operating Room Needs a Camera

Healthcare organizations may be deterred from using surgical cameras in the operating room for numerous reasons, including high equipment costs, potential workflow disruption, and patient privacy concerns. However, the impact surgical videos have on clinical performance, patient outcomes, and efficiency are invaluable.

Through research with surgical video experts and global acute care teams that use BFW Headlight/Video Camera Systems, we have concluded the following 5 reasons why every surgeon should be utilizing cameras in the OR.

1. Optimize Care Synchronization and Communication

In the operating room, clear communication and seamless coordination are required to perform safe, successful surgeries. Every surgical team member must execute their role flawlessly in complete synchronization with the other clinicians in the OR – akin to a symphony orchestra, where one wrong note may jeopardize the entire performance.

Through surgical video technology, procedures can be live-streamed directly from the surgeon’s point-of-view to a wall-mounted display. This provides the entire team full visibility of every step of the surgery and immediate awareness of any complications or deviations from protocol. 

With the ability to view the surgical site and follow the procedure in real-time, OR team members can strengthen care coordination by anticipating the needs of the surgeon, as well as the timing of their next task. 

For example, the nurse can proactively prepare the next surgical instrument and the anesthetist can strategically align sedation administration with the progress of the procedure, thus lowering the risk of over- or -under sedation.

Now, this is not to suggest that video replaces the need for verbal communication. Rather, visualization of the surgery enables clear, better-informed communication and minimizes disruptions, allowing the surgeon to stay laser-focused on the patient.

Surgical videos can also be utilized during pre- and post-op. 

In preparation for surgery, especially rare cases, surgical team members can study videos to familiarize themselves with the procedure – allowing them to enter the OR aware of the critical stages of the operation and the key indicators that will cue their actions. 

In complex cases, surgical videos can also be used to educate non-surgical team members, supporting more effective pre- and post-op care. 

2. Improve Surgical Training 

Through surgical videos, residents, fellows, and even experienced surgeons can learn from the best. Surgeons, who are often in the continuous pursuit of excellence, can study both well-established and emerging surgical techniques to expand their craft and sharpen their skill – invaluable at any stage of a career.  

Similarly, residents and fellows can study new surgical procedures and specialized techniques through video, equipping them with a foundational understanding before entering the OR. This preliminary knowledge enables them to ask strategic questions that will accelerate their learning, without introducing patient risk or disrupting the attending surgeon with rudimentary questions. 

3. Enhance Surgical Precision

As minimally invasive techniques and surgical robotics become more prevalent, surgeons and their teams are experiencing the profound benefits of using scopes to augment visibility and guide movement. 

While minimally invasive surgeries are still not an option for many patient conditions, the concept of using live video to enhance precision can be applied to open procedures. 

“With endoscopy and robotic procedures, the staff is able to perfectly visualize the operating site in real-time; while with open procedures, the staff outside the sterile field is blind. It is important for the staff to see what the surgeon sees during surgical procedures.”

Pascal Alexandre Thomas, MD, PhD

Thoracic Surgeon, Aix-Marseille University & Hospitals System of Marseille

Livestreaming the procedure on a surgical display directly through the surgeon’s line of sight provides the entire OR team critical visibility. 

Further, an HD surgical camera can be used to magnify small cavities and enhance clarity on the display – particularly during complex, intricate techniques. 

This augmented visibility not only enables optimized care synchronization, as described above, but it also allows surgical team members to assist and perform their duties with greater precision.

4. Advance Global Medicine 

Whether presented at a conference or sent digitally to a hospital across the globe, sharing knowledge is one of the most impactful applications of surgical videos. 

Video technology enables the preservation of groundbreaking procedures performed by the pioneers who created them and the mass distribution of new surgical techniques, making life-saving information accessible anywhere in the world.

Through surgical video, physical and geographical barriers are eliminated: a surgeon in Japan can teach a team in New York a procedure the hospital has not yet performed, and a surgeon in the UK can provide live remote consultation to an OR in Brazil.

This is a pivotal mechanism for remote training, collaboration, and consultation, especially during the pandemic when travel and exposure must be limited. 

5. Support Efficiency Goals

While the safety and health of patients are always foremost, for hospital administrators and leaders the most important benefit to demonstrate is the correlation between optimizations surgical videos provide, as outlined above, and lowering risk and the cost of care. 

Though a specific study has not been conducted, qualitative and anecdotal evidence suggests a strong correlation between:

  • Improved care coordination and more efficient operating room turnover 
  • Better communication can contribute to lower risk of medical error  
  • Higher quality training and more precise surgical performance 

While the integration of surgical videos requires an initial investment in equipment, OR workflow updates, and training, the impact on efficiency and patient outcomes quickly yield ROI for the organization. 

Capture the Highest Quality Video

In order to achieve the full benefits of surgical videos, it is imperative to invest in the right equipment. While there are many methods of capturing surgical footage, ranging from cell phones to full production teams, having the wrong angle or poor alignment with illumination can render the video ineffective. 

Viewing the procedure through the surgeon’s eyes – as is possible with the BFW Pharos HD™ Headlight/Video Camera System – enables the most effective care synchronization, training, and documentation. 

Connect with one of BFW’s surgical video experts to determine the right solution for your practice here

Create Surgical Videos Like a Rockstar

The value of surgical videos is clear; however, the process of creating them may still seem too complex. 

In our latest webinar, we’re joined by award-winning surgical video expert Alan O’Donnell, PA-C to demystify the perceived complexities of surgical video creation and unveil the secrets to maximizing surgical footage. 

Learn how to transform a 10-hour surgery into an impactful 10-minute surgical video – access the webinar here.

Capturing HD Surgical Video Made Easy...See The Difference Below

Learn to make surgical videos that let you document, train, and share surgical procedures.