Monday, May 09, 2005


I saw a billboard advertising that a local hospital now had an "all digital operating room," implying that the public should now go to Hospital EFG because this advanced state-of-the-art equipment and setup would offer a better and probably safer environment for surgery.

That logic failed me. I couldn't figure out what they were promoting as being all digital. The only thing analog that goes on in the OR nowadays is the recording on paper of instrument counts and the anesthetic drugs administered. Most everything else is computerized, this includes monitors, ventilators, IV pumps, and even the music on the radio is from a CD.

Unless Hospital EFG had replaced their human surgeons with computer controlled robots, I couldn't think of any advantage of getting an operation in their all-digital hospital versus any other near-digital hospital.

A hospital can replace every piece of equipment in their operating rooms with the newest and greatest, but if the operating surgeon botches up the operation, or if the surgeon is poorly qualified, no amount of technically advanced gizmos will help the patient.

I saw this as comparing two cars, one that comes with a CD player and is considered all digital, and a car that comes with a tape deck. To think that someone can imply that the first car may offer a safer environment is ridiculous.

A better billboard would be one that advertises that their surgeons are all board certified and fellowship trained. Now that's a hospital I'd seek out.