Don’t Go it Alone: Building a Successful Robotic Surgery Program Through Partnership

About Mineh Nazary

Strategic Business Developer, Surgical Robotics  |  Nordic region, Medtronic
As a strategic business developer focused on surgical robotics, Mineh understands the impact surgical robotics has on patient outcomes and also recognizes the challenges and needs hospitals experience as they add robotic technology. She works in partnership with hospitals to help them strategize, create, and execute surgical robotic programs that are successful today and well into the future. She shares her insights with us today.

A robot is just the beginning

The cool factor of innovative technology is undeniable. At times, those new to surgical robotics might buy a robot to differentiate themselves in the market but haven’t taken into account the big picture. While a robot certainly checks the innovation box, there are still many more boxes to check as you begin to build your robotics program. As hospitals contemplate bringing surgical robotics on board, it’s important to step back and plan for how it fits into a bigger strategic plan and more importantly, a vision for the future. Having a partner with insight and resources who is dedicated to standing by your side throughout that journey can be invaluable.

It’s about the journey

Every organization comes into the robotic surgery space with its own unique perspective. And often, they sometimes don’t have a clear view of what that journey of bringing a robotic program to life looks like. That’s where a trained specialist from Medtronic comes in. We start by defining their goals and then work together in partnership to map out what that journey will look like for their hospital.

“Those that have gone through the process really appreciate and acknowledge that everyone should work this way.”

–Mineh Nazary, Strategic Business Developer, Surgical Robotics

Before you decide to buy a robot...

It’s critical to focus on what you want to achieve with the program. Some of those goals could include:

  • Improving patient outcomes
  • Boosting patient satisfaction
  • Attracting top surgical talent

  • Growing your capabilities
  • Increasing the number and/or types of procedures

“When you create a strategic plan for your hospital, think of it like making a cake. Your dough mixer is not your star. It’s the cake, the final result, that is most important.”

–Mineh Nazary, Strategic Business Developer, Surgical Robotics

Think long-term

Buying a robot is not a one-time event. You’ll want to have a vision for what part it will play in your hospital’s overall growth and how you want to develop that program over time. Having a clear growth trajectory in mind and working toward that end will help define the milestones to get there.

Solve problems

It’s easy to get caught up in the innovative technology aspect of a robot, but resist thinking of it as a nice-to-have piece of equipment. Just like every capital investment at your hospital, it should solve a problem. Do you need to expand minimally invasive surgery to more patients?  Do you want to offer more innovative surgical modalities to keep up with the competition? Are you looking to improve the efficiency in your ORs? Identify the problems it will solve for your hospital and build that into your planning process to ensure you are addressing the problem you set out to solve.

Overcome the hurdles

Whether they are operational or economic, there are always hurdles when inviting change into an organization. And the same is true with the introduction of a robotic surgery program. The first important element to success is to bring stakeholders into the planning process from the beginning. When surgeons and staff are given the opportunity to provide input and be part of the process, they are more committed to the program’s success and aligned with its goals. Surgeons aren’t competing over who gets to use it because that was part of the planning. Everyone’s input is taken into account, and everyone aligns on a proper plan. They feel involved, valued, and most of all — invested.

Adding new technology is never easy, but it is necessary to grow and improve. When you connect with the right partner, strategize first and never lose sight of caring for the patient, then your robotic surgery program will be off to a good start.

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