Coaching & technology in the operating room - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Coaching & technology in the operating room

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MADISON (WKOW) -- UW coaches, like Bo Ryan, and Google Glass are helping a team of UW-Madison surgeons improve their skills.

The researchers are bringing another set of eyes into the operating room, to learn how to work together to improve each other's performances.

"There's a growing group of us who are trying to look outside of medicine and see how people improve performance and see if there are ways that we can identify strategies that people use and then translate into healthcare to improve what we do," Dr. Caprice Greenberg tells 27 News of her study.

They're finding the answers where coaching and technology merge.

"It's almost a facilitated self-assessment and self-improvement program."

The Google Glass provides the surgeons with another set of eyes.

They wear them during their surgeries and then they can go back and review the video with their coach to find out ways to get better.

"It was really a rich learning experience for me," says Dr. Jacob Greenberg.

He was the first to try out the pilot program, on a surgery he's performed many times, but one he's less comfortable with.

Dr. Greenberg reviewed a Google Glass recording of that surgery with a coach to see how he could better interact with his residents, and polish his skills as a surgeon.

"It was really helpful, for one, to watch myself operate, which we don't really tend to do, and two, then have another set of expert eyes looking at the operation and giving pointers from his perspective, as both an outsider and a well-trained surgeon."

Dr. Caprice Greenberg is leading research for the Wisconsin Surgical Coaching Program..

"Effective coaches are good communicators and they're adaptable," she says.

The goal is to have 10 coaches and 20 surgeons working together throughout the state, to provide more collaborative care for patients, to cut down on technical errors, and improve safety in the operating room.

"Everyone wants to think that their surgeon is perfect and we have to get away from that and understand that we all are human and we have ways that we can improve."

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