The medical industry has come a long way since the introduction of surgical robots in the 1980s. In just four decades since the introduction of this technology, the global medical robot market is now projected to reach $12.7 billion by 2025, with hospitals holding the largest market share in 2020.
That’s a big deal. Really big. But this growth doesn’t just require financial investment—in some cases, staff buy-in can be a more difficult pursuit.
Some medical professionals may fear that robots will completely replace human doctors, while others worry about the potential mistakes they can make, and of course, the costs associated with purchasing, maintaining and training staff on the equipment.
The good news? Data largely points to quite the opposite of all the above.
Below we’ll explore the benefits of surgical robots and why hiring the best medical talent is crucial to fully embracing this technology. We’ll also look at the challenges medical facilities may face when adopting surgical robots and provide tips on how to overcome them.
The Role of Surgical Robots in Enhancing Medical Staffs’ Capabilities
Surgical robots are designed to enhance the capacity and capabilities of medical staff, not replace them. In fact, the rise of surgical robotics is creating a whole industry of jobs, technicians and coders who build, train and maintain robots, as well as an industry of educators who train medical staff on how to use them effectively.
Let’s take a closer look at just three of the ways surgical robots have revolutionized the way that medical procedures are performed, enabling medical staff to provide better care to their patients and achieve better outcomes.
Improved Precision and Accuracy in Surgery
Surgical robots offer a range of benefits to medical staff—the most significant being improved precision and accuracy in surgery. Robotic systems are designed to operate with greater precision than human hands, meaning that surgeons can perform delicate procedures with greater accuracy than ever before. This is particularly important for complex surgeries such as those involving the brain, spine or heart, where even the slightest error can have serious consequences.
Greater Access With Greater Ease
In addition to improved precision, robots can access hard-to-reach areas of the body with greater ease. Think about it: a robot’s slender arms can reach deep into the body to perform procedures in areas that would otherwise be difficult for a human surgeon to reach. This allows for less invasive procedures, which can lead to reduced patient trauma and faster recovery times.
Decreased Risk of Human Error
When it comes to potentially life-saving surgeries, every single move in the operating room counts. And with the onset of fatigue on surgeons increasing the risk of medical error by as much as 22%, even routine procedures can see grave consequences if performed under these conditions. The introduction of surgical robots has led to a reduction in fatigue-related errors, an increase in the number of surgeries that can be performed in a single day, and ultimately improving patient outcomes.
The Growing Industry of Surgical Robots
As surgical robots become more common, a whole industry is emerging to support them—in turn, creating many new jobs for technicians and coders who build, maintain and program them. Demand for these jobs is expected to grow significantly in the coming years as more medical facilities adopt the technology.
Naturally, this means there’s also a growing need for educators who can train medical staff on how to use surgical robotics effectively. Proper training is essential to ensure that medical staff are comfortable with the technology and can use it to its full potential—something both staff and especially their patients will greatly appreciate.
The Importance of Hiring the Best Medical Talent to Overcome Challenges of Adopting Surgical Robots
While there are clear benefits of surgical robots, with the data to back it up, healthcare professionals are sure to come up against some challenges with adopting this technology in their facilities: resistance to change, financial investment required, and training and education needed to fully utilize the technology, to name a few.
That’s why medical facilities must hire the best talent available—all types of medical professionals with experience in surgical robotics who can improve the effectiveness of the technology and ensure that these robots are being used to their full potential. But where do you look to for these experts?
Cleveland Clinic immediately comes to mind, as they have been at the forefront of using surgical robots in their facilities when they began using the da Vinci Surgical System in 2004. The clinic has a team of experts on deck who are dedicated to the research and development of surgical robotics, as well as a team of surgeons who specialize in using the technology. Additionally, they have heavily invested in training programs to ensure that their medical staff outside of the surgical team is comfortable with using these industry-changing robots.
Smaller Facilities Can Play Ball, Too
While the initial cost of purchasing, maintaining and training staff on surgical robots can be significant, smaller healthcare facilities can still benefit from utilizing this technology, even with smaller budgets.
If your facility is looking to evolve alongside the industry, here are five steps you can take to overcome the financial and implementational challenges of adopting surgical robots.
- Involve medical staff in the decision-making process: Decision-makers aren’t necessarily the professionals who will be utilizing the equipment—so why not go directly to the source? Including your medical staff in this stage will help them feel respected and valued for their professional opinion, while also encouraging them to embrace change more fully.
- Allocate funds appropriately to purchase and maintain surgical robots: While the investment may be significant, the long-term benefits of surgical robots can outweigh the costs. You may even consider purchasing refurbished or used surgical robots, which can significantly reduce initial costs.
- Provide adequate training and education for medical staff on how to effectively use this technology: This includes both initial training and ongoing support to ensure that staff are comfortable with the technology and can use it to its full potential.
- Collaborate with larger medical facilities that already have surgical robots: This would allow smaller facilities to send their patients to larger facilities for surgeries that require the use of surgical robots.
- Or you can partner with robotics manufacturers and researchers to stay up to date with the latest advancements in surgical robotics: By partnering with these experts, medical facilities can ensure that they are using the most advanced technology available.
Look to the Future of the Healthcare Industry With Healthcare Recruiters International
It’s no question whether or not surgical robots are here to stay. They are. And now, it’s only a matter of how willing and able healthcare facilities can adapt and evolve.
Vegard Nerseth, CEO at CMR Surgical, said it best: “This shift impacts many industries from healthcare to manufacturing where robots supporting humans to boost efficiencies, rather than replacing them.”
This growing industry is an exciting time for healthcare professionals inside and outside of hospitals. For experts in the medical field who are ready to embrace this shift head-on, Healthcare Recruiters International is the staffing firm you can trust to find and hire the foremost medical talent for your facility. Contact us today to get started on your search.