The surgery had been scheduled two weeks in advance, Gavin Fabian remembers. In the days leading up to it, the members of the surgical team had exchanged a flurry of emails, text messages, and phone calls. The scheduler had advised the team of the date and time of the operation. The medical device rep had delivered the implant required for the procedure, and the materials manager had requisitioned everything that the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and OR nurse would need to perform it.
By the day of the surgery, each member of the team had spent hours in careful preparation. But after the patient had been anesthetized and the incision had been made, the surgeon discovered that the wrong implant had been delivered. Somewhere in the team’s emails, text messages, and phone calls, a single miscommunication had occurred that would force them to reschedule the operation.
“It was in situations like that where I saw there was a problem with surgery coordination,” said Fabian, a former product manager at a prominent medical device company and the current CEO of Casetabs, a California-based digital health startup. “There were communication issues that affected the entire surgical team.”