This page is to provide helpul information for hospital administrators to consider when choosing a neuromonitoring service provider. This important decision has significant implications for any neuro-spine surgical program.
Intraoperative neuromonitoring is an essential clinical service that ensures the safety of patients undergoing surgical procedures that place the brain, spinal cord and nerves at risk. Literature suggests that surgical outcomes can be greatly affected by the experience level of the surgical neurophysiologists (Nuwer et al. Clinical Neurophysiology 1995).
Hospital administrators should be aware that it takes many years of training, study and experience to become competent in surgical neuromonitoring and even more to become truly proficient. It is important for hospital administrators to appreciate that there is great variability in the education, experience and skill levels of surgical neurophysiologists. Each individual surgical neurophysiologist should be able to supply evidence of their training, experience and skill.
One of the world's most experienced and respected spine surgeons discusses the importance of quality neuromonitoring in spine surgery.
Surgical neuromonitoring is a clinical service, and surgeons and administrators should carefully evaluate the competency of any prospective practitioners.
Statistics regarding surgical medical malpractice are staggering. The annual cost of the medical malpractice liability system has been estimated to be $55.6 billion-2.4% of the total healthcare system.' The median award for plaintiffs in actions involving the spinal cord is $2.9 million, and the median value for settlements is $1.45 million. A neurosurgeon will spend approximately eleven years of his or her career with outstanding malpractice claims.