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J Healthc Qual. 2011 Nov;33(6):48-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1945-1474.2011.00148.x. Epub 2011 May 17.

Robotic surgery claims on United States hospital websites.

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  • 1Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Abstract

To examine the prevalence and content of robotic surgery information presented on websites of U.S. hospitals. We completed a systematic analysis of 400 randomly selected U.S. hospital websites in June of 2010. Data were collected on the presence and location of robotic surgery information on a hospital's website; use of images or text provided by the manufacturer; use of direct link to manufacturer website; statements of clinical superiority; statements of improved cancer outcome; mention of a comparison group for a statement; citation of supporting data and mention of specific risks. Forty-one percent of hospital websites described robotic surgery. Among these, 37% percent presented robotic surgery on their homepage, 73% used manufacturer-provided stock images or text, and 33% linked to a manufacturer website. Statements of clinical superiority were made on 86% of websites, with 32% describing improved cancer control, and 2% described a reference group. No hospital website mentioned risks. Materials provided by hospitals regarding the surgical robot overestimate benefits, largely ignore risks and are strongly influenced by the manufacturer.

© 2011 National Association for Healthcare Quality.

PMID:
22059902
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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