Malpractice Carrier Underwrites Fls Training and Testing – a Benchmark for Patient Safety

Background: Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) is a validated program developed by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) to educate and assess competency in Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS).
This study reports the first malpractice carrier sponsored FLS course for surgeons-in-practice underwritten by the Controlled Risk Insurance Company of Harvard’s Risk Management Foundation (CRICO/RMF). We investigated the participating surgeons’ pattern of MIS skills acquisition, subjective laparoscopic comfort level, operative activity and their perception of the FLS role in surgical education, credentialing and patient safety.
Study design: A full-day post-graduate CME course comprised the didactic presentations of the leading MIS faculty, proctored FLS hands-on training, psychomotor testing and cognitive computer-based examination. Voluntary anonymous pre- and post-course surveys were handed out to the participants upon registration and upon completion of both the didactic and the skills modules of the program.
Results: 37 practicing surgeons in the Harvard system attended the course. 86% of survey forms were returned. The major driving forces to attend the course were directive from chief/chairman (50%), improvement in the MIS didactic knowledge (56%), and the belief that FLS will become a standard such as ATLS, ACLS, etc. (53%). Surgeons reported that the FLS exam content is appropriate (4.41+/-0.91 Likert) and also that mastery of the course material will improve safety (4.13+/-0.79) and technical knowledge of MIS (4.03+/-1.00).
Conclusions: This unique cooperative effort between liability carrier, a professional surgical society, and proactive surgeons should be considered as a model for advancing competency and patient safety. Survey results indicate a positive view on FLS in surgical training, safety, and MIS education.

Session: Podium Presentation

Program Number: S119

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