Make the Most of Your Robot: How to Maximize the Value of a Strategic Robotics Program

Featuring Marieke Maanders
Director of Integrated Health Solutions, EMEA, Medtronic

About Marieke Maanders
Director Integrated Health Solutions Consulting, Surgical Robotics | EMEA, Medtronic

As leader of the IHS consulting team, Marieke focuses on developing robotics beyond the device itself. She and her team partner with hospitals on the design, development and delivery of robotic programs to help them achieve their strategic objectives. The ultimate goal: help hospitals realize more value from their robot purchase through optimization of patient care and standardization around patient treatment.

Unlocking value revolves around increasing patient access

For organizations adding a robotic system, ensuring the robotic program is delivering value for patients, surgeons, and payers is key.  A key measure of success is optimizing procedure volumes and utilization. When the system is used consistently and efficiently, more patients have access to minimally invasive procedures which result in:

  • fewer surgical site infections1
  • less blood loss2
  • less pain2

Increased caseload is also critical for expediting the learning curve of both surgeons and OR staff in using this new technology so they can deliver optimized surgical quality.

Ultimately, when patients are treated minimally invasively, recovery is faster leading to a significant impact on their length of stay.2 So patients can resume their normal family and professional activities sooner and hospitals can increase their capacity to treat more patients. Robotic-assisted surgery can play an important role in enabling more minimally invasive procedures.  

It starts with a vision

A clear vision and strong robotics program brand are prerequisites to attracting more patients to your center. However, simply attracting patients is not enough; a best practice robotics program ensures they are treated in the most effective way. Leaders need to set clear, measurable goals and plan for how robotics will fit in their overall growth strategy and brand. Surgeons, administrators and marketers need to collaborate to set the vision and define how they will bring it to life.

Data insights help to treat these patients the most effective way   

“Effective programs build on continuous performance improvement, which requires deep insights with a holistic view of performance. Metrics should include more than just data from the robot itself, leaders should look at overall OR usage and perioperative pathway performance.” 

–Marieke Maanders

A continuous improvement cycle in which these insights are turned into actions with sustained impact will enable a best practice robotics program.

A continuous improvement cycle (may be easier said than done)

Creating a continuous improvement cycle may be easier said than done. There are multiple bottlenecks that may hamper your plans and thereby limit treating patients effectively. One common challenge occurs when data is spread across multiple sources (EMR, ORMS) and not presented in a holistic manner, inhibiting an integrated response. Other common roadblocks include not setting best practice targets for KPIs and failing to create a governance structure to enforce sustained impact. Finally, when improvement initiatives are not measured and results are not communicated well it can affect the mentality of your team and their perception of continuous improvement progress. 

How can Medtronic help?

Medtronic’s on-site consulting team is dedicated to helping hospitals envision, design, and implement best practice robotic programs. Through implementation of our Integrated Analytics Platform to monitor and benchmark robotics program performance, we can help capture actionable insights.

Then we support the process of turning those actionable insights into sustained impact by helping to set up the right RAS governance framework, define performance targets and implement improvement initiatives that enable reaching those targets.

Finally, we can ensure this impact is shared  through marketing and scientific writing services to further build your RAS brand and attract more patients.


  1. Roumm AR, Pizzi L,  Goldfarb NI, Cohn H. Minimally invasive: minimally reimbursed? An examination of six laparoscopic surgical procedures.Surg Innovation. 2005;12(3):261-287.
  2. Tiwari MM, Reynoso JF, High  R, Tsang AW, Oleynikov D. Safety, efficacy, and cost effectiveness of common laparoscopic procedures. Surg Endosc.2011;25(4):1127-1135. 

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