Robotic surgery is a young and new technology, becoming widely used only within the past twenty years. Robotic surgery is categorized as minimally invasive and has immense patient benefits, including shorter hospital stays, reduction of human errors, increased precision, and faster recovery time. A recent study looked “at more than 10,000 incident reports from the FDA spanning from 2000 to 2013…found [finding] that robots were involved in 144 patient deaths and 1,391 patient injuries” (Wagstaff, 2015, pp. 2). Wagstaff (2015) also notes that very little information regarding cause of death was provided by the incident reports, which brings forth the need for proper regulation and evaluation of surgical training. For this to happen, the effectiveness of modern robotic surgery practices has to be carefully assessed. This research focused on assessing effectiveness by attempting to determine the best practices for robotic surgery training, specifically aiming to determine what components would make up a good hospital/institution policy. By understanding the components that should make up a hospital/institution policy and ensuring they meet expert guidelines, the need for a universal robotic surgery training guideline could be assessed. This study analyzed the policies provided by three major institutions in New York State that use robotic surgery. This included Upstate University Hospital (Syracuse, NY), Roswell Park (Buffalo, NY), and Stony Brook University Medical Center (Stony Brook, NY). The three hospitals policies were compared against each other as well as to expert opinions from peer reviewed journal articles on robotic surgery policies. It was concluded that adverse event reporting needs to improve in order to allow for improvement in the area of robotic surgical training and credentialing. Additionally, two of the three institutions analyzed were found to have very similar guidelines and meet all expert credentialing criteria.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Surgical robots--Safety measures; Surgical robots--Quality control; Surgical robots--New York (State)--Management--Case studies

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Public Policy (CLA)


Franz Foltz

Advisor/Committee Member

Edward Brown

Advisor/Committee Member

Rachel Melnyk


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes