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Robotic Checklist Used in GYN Cases Shown to Reduce Readmissions

Date: 05.06.2013
Contact: Jennifer Farquhar, MBA Phone: (330) 375-4930

NEW ORLEANS, May 6, 2013 – Eventually, every robotic operating room in the nation may employ an electronic checklist to improve safety practices and foster communication among surgical team members. Hospitals that offer minimally invasive robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery and use a safety checklist may also be able to lower their readmission rates according to researchers at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.

In 2011, Summa Health System received a grant to develop and program a Robotic Operating Room Computerized Checklist (RORCC) based on the World Health Organization Safe Surgery Saves Lives Checklist. The new checklist was designed to strengthen safety practices and foster better communication between clinical disciplines during robotic assisted surgery. In Summa’s latest study on the checklist, 30-day readmission rates for robotic GYN surgery were cut by 74 percent from 12 to five instances pre- and post-checklist, respectively.

The pre-checklist data was abstracted from 89 patients undergoing GYN procedures from four surgeons at Summa Akron City Hospital between November 6, 2010, and May 15, 2011, and from 121 patients post-checklist between May 16, 2011, and November 16, 2011. The case was considered to be a readmission if the patient entered the hospital with surgical complications 30-days post procedure. This data was twice verified for consistency by examining the electronic records and the reason for readmission.

“Most importantly, these findings have implications for patient quality of care and for patient satisfaction following GYN robotic surgery,” said Edward M. Ferris, M.D., of Summa Health System. “We may also see that use of the checklist may result in lower expenditures for hospitals entering accountable care models.”

The research, titled “Effects of a Robotic Specific Operating Room Checklist to Reduce Hospital Reutilization,” was selected for a poster presentation at the 61st Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in New Orleans from May 4 to 8. Authors include: Edward M. Ferris, M.D.; Michele L. McCarroll, Ph.D.; Melissa D. Zullo, Ph.D., MPH, M.A.; Thomas Mendise, M.D.; Stephen Andrews, M.D.; and Vivian E. von Gruenigen, M.D.

An author from Summa Health System will be available to answer questions from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. during poster session 1 on May 6 at station 26 in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Exhibit Hall.

About Summa Health System

Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at