Massachusetts medical board proposes rules on simultaneous surgeries

Surgeons in the state of Massachusetts will have to document each time they enter and leave the operating room according to a new regulation approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, according to a recent report in The Boston Globe.

Patients rarely know if they are sharing their surgeon with another patient, and the lack of documentation about the surgeon’s whereabouts during a procedure leaves some wondering if their doctor actually performed the entire procedure, according to the report.

Additionally, the primary surgeon will need to identify the backup doctor in the event the primary surgeon needs to leave the operating room during the procedure.

Other rules approved by the board last week include:

  • Doctors will be required to report other physicians who are impaired by alcohol or drugs while on duty
  • Online physician profiles have been expanded to include out-of-state malpractice judgments and settlements involving Massachusetts doctors

The approved rules need approval by various state agencies by the end of March before they can go into effect.