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    Evaluating web videos found feasible for RARP peer review

    Expert, crowdsourced reviewers consistently agree on lower scoring surgeons

    Ann Arbor, MI—Evaluation of online videos is a feasible method for peer review of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) surgical skills, according to a pilot project undertaken by the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MUSIC). 

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    The research, which was presented at the 2015 European Association of Urology annual congress in Madrid, Spain and has been published online in European Urology (Jan. 3, 2016), also found that compared to practicing urologists, layperson reviewers were similar in their identification of lower-performing surgeons.

    “This pilot project is the first time that practicing surgeons’ skill in performing robotic surgery has been prospectively peer-reviewed and also the first time that crowdsource methodology has been used to assess real surgery,” said first author Khurshid R. Ghani, MD, assistant professor of urology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and co-director of MUSIC.

    He explained that the overall aim of the project is to improve the technical quality of RARP throughout Michigan.

    “Establishing methodology to assess performance is the first step toward that goal. According to our findings, peer review of online videos is a viable approach and there may be a role for crowdsourcing,” Dr. Ghani said.

    The idea of using video review germinated from knowledge of work by the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative that showed greater technical skill in bariatric surgery, as rated through surgical video review, correlated with better postoperative outcomes (N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1434-42). To help develop the initiative, the MUSIC Coordinating Center turned to James O. Peabody, MD, a robotic prostatectomy pioneer and staff surgeon at Vattikuti Urology Institute, Detroit, to serve as study lead. In addition, they enlisted Thomas S. Lendvay, MD, of the University of Washington, Seattle, who had done work with crowdsourced review.

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