Robotics in the OR: Five Lessons Learned from Best-in-Class Surgeons 

As the adoption of surgical robotics continues to grow amidst concerns about potential disruptions to workflow and decreased efficiency, there’s a need for data and insights to ensure seamless integration into operating room workflows. The results of robotic-assisted surgeries can be powerful: improved surgery precision and patient outcomes. 

Last year, we published an article about how OR management can best introduce robotics to assist with surgeries. Since that time, has observed 11 surgeons in 4 countries who are using surgical robotics to help us understand best practices of introducing and integrating robotics in OR workflows. This blog outlines’s five lessons learned that are fundamental to success. 

The Five Lessons 

#1: Tailor Robotics Integration to Existing Processes 

ORs must integrate robotics into the existing surgical processes while respecting the uniqueness of each surgical team’s workflow. Flexibility in implementation ensures a smooth transition without disrupting established best practices.

#2: Manage the Complexity in Set-up and Breakdown Processes 

As you see in Figure 1 below, the introduction of robotics adds a third workstream to the set-up and breakdown processes of surgery, increasing complexity and the risk of reduced operational efficiency. 

Figure 1: Overview of the different workstreams of a robotic OR

To mitigate these challenges, clear roles and responsibilities must be defined for the entire surgical team, enabling seamless coordination and workflow management.

#3: Align Stakeholders 

Successful implementation of robotic-assisted surgery hinges on aligning stakeholders. Collaboration and clear communication among surgeons, nursing staff, and administrators are vital to ensure a unified approach and smooth implementation process.

#4: Efficiency and Robotics Can Co-exist 

Contrary to concerns about robotics’ potential negative impact on workflow and efficiency, The experiences from the surgeons has collaborated with demonstrate that robotics can actually enhance operational efficiency when introduced and implemented effectively.

Figure 2 below, shows a typical OR day for Dr. Geert Leirs, orthopedic surgeon in Belgium. He streamlined procedures, which gradually increased the number of robotic-assisted total knee replacements to six per day. 

Figure 2: OR day overview of Dr Leirs.

#5: Data-driven implementation leads to staff delight.

The implementation of surgical robotics presents both opportunities for increased work satisfaction when implemented correctly and a risk for frustration for surgical teams when implemented incorrectly. When surgical robotics vendors introduce their robotic technology in a structured and data driven manner, it can be the epitome of customer delight.

Taking into account the well-being of the entire surgical team is an important part of achieving the quadruple aim. With proper introduction and integration into existing workflows and processes, the adoption of robotics can elevate the daily work experience of surgical teams, increase OR throughput, and help OR rooms achieve operational excellence.


By tailoring robotics integration to existing processes managing complexity, fostering stakeholder alignment, and prioritizing efficiency and team satisfaction, surgical teams can harness the full potential of robotics technology to enhance patient care and surgical outcomes and at the same time ensure throughput and efficiency.