The Valley Health System, a six-hospital integrated health system serving southern Nevada, has launched a general surgery residency program that features a video-based surgical skills improvement platform powered by machine learning, data analytics and human insights. Through its partnership with C-SATS – part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies – the residency program is using this innovative platform to support a technologically advanced surgical education program, in which the residents have access to world-class technology in efforts to augment their robust training curriculum.
Using the C-SATS platform, the surgical procedures that are captured via an intraoperative video feed during minimally invasive procedures (MIS) are securely sent to C-SATS. C-SATS then facilitates a process in which anonymous, confidential and near-real-time reviews are provided privately to each physician. Reviews are a combination of quantitative inputs through crowd-sourcing based on inter-rater reliability and qualitative reviews conducted by expert surgeons. Evaluations incorporate machine learning and are supplemented by human insights to create personalized and private dashboards for each surgeon. C-SATS complies with the applicable HIPAA and HITRUST standards to help ensure patient confidentiality.
The program, for use among surgical residents, officially launched in July 2019 and provides personalized technical skill and technique feedback as the residents rotate through four of the system’s six hospitals as well as with private practice surgeons in the Las Vegas area. In addition to video review capabilities not typically available in standard physician training models, residents are able to create a personalized video library of cases to monitor their progress. Telementoring sessions, expert case studies, and other resources are also available to support physicians as they prepare for the American Board of Surgery certification exam.
Saju Joseph, MD, is the Surgical Residency Program Director for The Valley Health System. He views the ability of the C-SATS platform to evaluate and provide feedback designed to help improve residents’ surgical skills as an essential component of their residency program. “Nevada has a significant shortage of graduate medical education slots, which has exacerbated the shortage of physicians in the Las Vegas region," commented Joseph. "With the opportunity to create a new surgical residency program comes the obligation to ensure that we are producing well-trained surgeons for Nevada. To accomplish that, we are committed to using advanced systems, like C-SATS, that are data-driven and take advantage of human insights plus machine learning.”
Funding for the C-SATS platform is being provided through a grant from the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology (OSIT) in the state of Nevada. “State-funded graduate medical education is an important part of Nevada’s strategy to grow its physician workforce and increase access to high-quality healthcare,” said Brian Mitchell, Director of OSIT. "OSIT is pleased to partner with The Valley Health System to launch this innovative residency program and provide state-of-the-art instruction to Nevada’s next generation of surgeons."
The Valley Health System’s Regional Vice President Karla Perez views the use of C-SATS's technology and advanced data analytics within the residency program as a continuation of the system’s mission. “The core mission of The Valley Health System is to provide our community superior quality care and offer unique training opportunities to the next generation of healthcare providers," said Perez. "That means we are committed to using the best technology available to help our residents practice and learn, and then practice again within a system that rigorously supports quality improvement and clinical efficiency."
Huzefa Neemuchwala, Ph.D., VP and GM C-SATS Digital Surgery Solutions, shared, “We are thrilled to support The Valley Health System and their forward-thinking surgical residency program in their journey to use innovative technologies and data-driven systems to bring unique training opportunities to their surgical residents. This is in perfect alignment with our mission to help surgeons of all levels to improve their skills and deliver the highest quality of care to the patients they serve.”
C-SATS is reinventing surgical skills improvement on a global scale. Rooted in robust research across a team of surgeons, engineers and biostatisticians at the University of Washington, C-SATS was formed in 2014 and joined the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in 2018. C-SATS is a SaaS-based, device agnostic, surgical skills improvement and learning platform. It is designed to provide personalized learning and sharing opportunities as well as the ability for a surgeon to seamlessly capture, store and edit surgical videos through a private, HIPAA-compliant space in the cloud. Surgeons of all levels can track their performance and continuously refine their skills and technique based on clinical insights and analytics as well as unbiased assessment and expert feedback. C-SATS has been deployed in nearly 100 institutions across the country to date and already demonstrates value in some of the nation’s largest health systems.