A Well-Choreographed Operating Room? Now a Reality


By Felix Wandel, Vice President Johnson & Johnson, WW Business Unit Lead SPI (Surgical Process Institute)

Davos is an ideal time of year for surgeons to come together to exchange on the newest approaches to treatment and education, and to meet leaders in their fields, learn from each other and to share experiences . As demonstrated through the partnership between the AO Foundation and the Surgical Process Institute (SPI), part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, we both share the overarching goal of transforming surgical experience to achieve better outcomes through synchronization and digitization of surgical procedures.

“Medicine has become the art of managing extreme complexity—and a test of whether such complexity can, in fact, be humanly mastered.”- Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

This week in Davos, I’m looking forward to continuing to evolve our understanding of the needs in this space and to further developing digital technologies for surgery.

Step-by-step surgical workflows support care teams in real-time

The latest digital surgery technologies enable surgeons to choreograph their operating room , guiding the entire care team seamlessly through every surgery. Surgical teams can design and implement their own step-by-step surgical workflows using advanced digital platforms, enabling care teams to operate in a more synchronized way.

Reducing variability in surgery enables more consistent surgical outcomes

Operating in a more synchronized way helps surgeons and care teams deliver consistent, high-quality care. Reducing procedural variability and synchronizing care activities can benefit surgeons, OR teams, and patients in terms of clinical safety and quality on top of improving procedural efficiency. Research shows that at least half of all surgical complications are preventable, and that surgical errors increase significantly with increases in flow disruptions.1 That is where the benefits of synchronization come in.

Digital technology is transforming the surgical experience

When deep clinical expertise is combined with the benefits of synchronization and backed by a smart layer of digital technology, surgical performance can be assessed and benchmarked, providing valuable insights. Data is also collected for further analysis and ensuing workflow enhancements. The ability to gather and analyze data every step of the way to improve outcomes presents a huge benefit for today’s digital surgery efforts.

This week at Davos serves as another key milestone in our partnership with AO, as both organizations continue to benefit from each other’s expertise and the cross-fertilization of ideas and learnings to transform surgical experience. Please join me in talks about these exciting topics at the #AODavosCourses2019 and share your insights with us!



Flow Disruption = deviation from natural progression of an operation, compromising safety and efficiency

1. Wiegmann, DA et al. Disruptions in surgical flow and their relationship to surgical errors: an exploratory investigation. Surgery 2007;142:658-65.