Paul Alan Wetter, MD, has been described as, “The single individual who has done the most to promote education and understanding of minimally invasive surgery worldwide”. A visionary, who has promoted technology and education that fosters less traumatic surgery, improves physician education, lowers costs, builds communities, accelerates discovery and learning, and lifts the level of surgical competence and patient outcome worldwide.
As one of the first surgeons to champion advanced laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Wetter brought together multiple surgical specialties to start a new type of medical multi-specialty society, the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, which has become the largest of its kind in the world with over 6,000 active members.
Dr. Wetter initiated an ambitious worldwide effort, ORReady, to improve surgical outcomes for six million patients. He spearheaded the publication of the first of their kind open-access, online medical textbooks, which can be used at the bedside, in the office, library, and OR and have built-in language translation for worldwide utilization. He is the co-founder of the Medical Journal, JSLS, which has had a monumental rise to the top 100 journals of over 10,000 scientific publications online.
Dr. Wetter has received honors in many countries for his sharing of ideas about MIS around the world, which influenced the rapid rise of MIS. He formed the AsianAmerican and EuroAmerican MIS Summits where leaders from most countries and medical societies in these regions attend. By developing these summits, he has put high-quality educational and resource materials into the hands of all surgeons and hospitals worldwide.
The driving source for his work is the lofty goal of giving every budding and experienced practitioner in the world an opportunity to contribute and learn. Dr. Wetter truly has mastered the art of collaboration and open access in medical education worldwide.
Dr. Wetter was nominated twice and they said the following: “Safety in any surgical procedure is the most important factor for ultimate patient benefit and the best outcomes. The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons has established steps in the ORReady criteria to maximize safety and minimize potential complications. The motto has been “all about the outcomes”. We have been implementing these criteria for many years since its inception and have seen clear benefits to the patients. Innovation and identification of ideas that promote better patient outcomes on a global basis. The ability to improve on a world basis is becoming easier. ORReady is supported by over 21 organizations on five continents and growing, and has led to millions of better outcomes for patients.
Improving Outcomes for all Surgical Patients
Join ORReady, each of us can help.
Each year over two hundred and thirty million operations are performed. Experts estimate that by following a series of safety guidelines, a minimum of 2-3% (roughly six million surgical patients around the world) could have better surgical outcomes each year.
While this may help only a small number of patients in a small local hospital, cumulatively it has the potential of being beneficial to an enormous number of patients worldwide. Research has confirmed that multiple industries benefit by applying the safety steps presented here. When applied in the surgical suite, these same steps can and do reduce complication rates and improve outcomes for our patients. Top centers, leading surgeons, nurses and OR teams in multiple specialties have adopted various forms of improvement and have been reducing error rates by 40% and cutting death rates in half. Regrettably, many hospitals and surgeons worldwide have not yet instituted these good-outcome-producing principles. The goal of ORReady is to encourage worldwide use of the ORReady Steps in all hospitals and clinics and surgical suites. These small steps improve the outcomes for 6,000,000 patients worldwide annually.
This is the task of ORReady. Its goal is for health care professionals to follow guidelines that would begin with the inclusion of Check Lists, Time Outs, and Warm-Ups routinely to ensure better surgical outcomes. ORReady is also assessing other ideas that work to improve patient care. ORReady estimates that 6 million patients around the world would have better outcomes if better guidelines were followed. Health Clinics, Surgical Suites and Hospitals are encouraged to participate by adding their ideas that work to improve patient safety.
It all starts with Check Lists, Time Outs and Warm-ups used as part of the surgical protocol and process to ensure better outcomes for all patients.
Over the past few years over 21 organizations on five continents have joined with ORReady and are working to continually assess and improve outcomes for patients.
You can become part of this effort by submitting ideas that work from your facility which can be shared with others. These can be sent to Dr. Wetter at Paul@SLS.org. Also, if you have a special interest in improving surgical outcomes and wish to further participate, ORReady is looking for volunteers to help spread the word and good practices.
Join the ORReady Advisors Group: ORReady Advisers are leaders of surgical, nursing, medical, MIS Societies and health organizations from multiple countries who share the idea that by working together with the power of the Internet and cooperative research we can accomplish great things. Organizations who choose to participate are encouraged to appoint a leader to the ORReady Advisers Group.
The three main steps incorporated in the Traffic light logo encourage teams to 1. Slow down for Warm Up and Check lists; 2. Stop for Time out; then 3. Go ahead with the procedure.
Teams are encouraged to keep improving these and other useful steps and when a significant improvement is documented to share these with other ORReady teams around the globe through ORReady.
With rapid changes in technology and arrival of new techniques and procedures, ORReady can facilitate rapid open access sharing of data and receive feedback for new things that work to improve patient care.
ORReady has been awarded with an Alliance for Continuing Medical Education Great Idea Certificate in the Medical Specialty Societies Member section.
1. Wetter PA, Rovira IK. "Do no harm"--ORReady initiative aims to improve safety and outcome for 6 million patients. JSLS. 2011;15(2):131-2.
2. WHO Check Lists https://www.who.int/patientsafety/safesurgery/checklist/en/
3. Lendvay TS, Brand TC, White L, et al. Virtual reality robotic surgery warm-up improves task performance in a dry laboratory environment: a prospective randomized controlled study. J Am Coll Surg. 2013;216(6):1181-92.
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5. WHO Save Lives:Clean Your Hands https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/en/
Originally published in Issue 1, 2019 of MT Magazine.