Introduction of a surgical Black Box system in a hybrid angiosuite: Challenges and opportunities

Phys Med. 2020 Aug:76:77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2020.06.013. Epub 2020 Jun 29.


Purpose: In laparoscopy, the Operating Room Black Box® (ORBB) provides insights into operative performance to improve patient safety. This technology may also enhance endovascular surgical practice; however, the use of a C-arm and X-rays pose important challenges, hindering transferability to an endovascular context. We describe the first implementation of ORBB technology in a hybrid angiosuite and illustrate its value in evaluating surgeons' radiation safety, technical and non-technical performance.

Methods: Team members (surgeons, nurses, anaesthesiologists) and stakeholders were informed during several information sessions. Together with teams from Surgical Safety Technologies (Toronto, Canada), an implementation plan was developed, and video-evaluation frameworks were chosen. Radiation safety was assessed using dose measurements and video-evaluation of safety-related behaviours. Technical performance was assessed using 'global' (GRS) and 'procedure-specific' (PRS) rating scales and the 'EndoVascular Aortic Repair Assessment of Technical Expertise' (EVARATE) framework. Surgeons' non-technical skills were assessed with the NOTSS framework.

Results: The system captures Audio-visual data from four ceiling-mounted cameras, three ceiling-array microphones, the fluoroscopy screen and anaesthesia monitor. After patient and team consent, an elective endovascular aneurysm repair was successfully analysed. Dose-Area-Product and Air Kerma were 71094 mGy.cm2 and 270 mGy, respectively. Behavioural analysis revealed deficiencies in stepping back and radiation safety communication. Technical skill assessment was feasible: GRS: 29/40; 'PRS': 27/35; EVARATE: 29/35. Non-technical analysis highlighted surgeons' leadership qualities.

Conclusion: An innovative data capture platform has been successfully installed to evaluate overall performance during endovascular procedures. This technology may facilitate identification of (radiation) safety-related errors and instigate educational interventions based on real-world issues.

Keywords: Endovascular surgery; Patient safety; Quality improvement; Radiation safety.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Canada
  • Endovascular Procedures*
  • Humans
  • Operating Rooms