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Massachusetts considers creating a Robotic Surgery Commission

Publish Date: 7/22/2014

Massachusetts Senate bill 2261, which is the substitute for the bill Senator Moore introduced in early 2013, S. 1069, has moved through the Senate favorably. S. 2261 seeks to create a commission to investigate and review the use of robotic surgery, develop a training protocol for each application of robotic surgery currently being performed in Massachusetts, create an application process for hospitals to propose certification of new applications of robotic surgery, and establish guidelines for surgeon training and experience to perform such operations. As the bill is currently written, the commission would include 3 members of the Senate, 3 members of the House of Representatives, the Commissioner of Public Health, 3 Governor appointees, and representatives from health care organizations such as the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Society of Gynecological Surgeons, the American Urological Society, and the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

AORN submitted comments in support of S. 1069 in March of 2013 to the Joint Commission on Public Health and requested the bill be amended to include a seat for perioperative nursing on the commission. Since S. 2261 was recently substituted for S. 1069 and is currently being reviewed in the House Committee on Ways and Means, AORN submitted new comments last week to the Chair, Rep. Brian Dempsey, again requesting a seat on the robotic surgery commission for perioperative nursing. Along with the comments, AORN also provided the Chairman with the AORN Recommended Practices for Minimally Invasive Surgery, showing that AORN is indeed the national leader in addressing all aspects of operating room procedure for minimally invasive surgery and computer-assisted technology procedures for the multi-disciplinary surgery team.

AORN will continue to monitor S. 2261 and report on its progress. 

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