Healthcare| Volume 168, ISSUE 2, P238-243, August 2020

A model for the institutional adoption of innovative surgical techniques



      Surgeons have the responsibility to continuously enhance surgical practice. Standardized processes for institutions to validate and approve the introduction of innovative surgical techniques do not exist. The objective of this work was to develop a model for the introduction of innovative surgical techniques, which assists the innovating surgeons and institution with safe implementation.


      A staged model for the institutional introduction of innovative surgical techniques was developed. Relevant concepts were introduced and defined, a framework for preparation and implementation was established, and an oversight structure was delineated.


      Systematic literature review and expert opinion revealed broad agreement on the core principles and theory of surgical innovation, but also noted a lack of specific processes. Our efforts aimed to both codify principles and provide a model for specific, best-practice workflows. Important concepts and outputs included: (1) appropriate definition of a sufficiently “new technique” requiring oversight; (2) the appropriate groundwork to be performed to plan for the implementation of the new technique; (3) patient-facing responsibilities, including informed consent; and (4) division of the introduction/adoption process into defined phases, starting from initial discovery and preparation to piloting and transition to standard practice, each with distinct, phase-specific tasks.


      We present a generalizable framework for approaching the safe introduction and adoption of innovative surgical techniques.
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