Abstract: In July 2000, the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Inc) received Food and Drug Administration approval for intracardiac applications, and the first mitral valve repair was done at the East Carolina Heart Institute in May 2000. The system is now approved and used in many surgical specialties. With this disruptive technology and accepted use, surgeons and hospitals are seeking the most efficacious training pathway leading to safe use and responsible credentialing.
One of the most important issues related to safe use is assembling the appropriate team of professionals involved with patient care. Moreover, proper patient selection and setting obtainable goals are also important.
Creation and maintenance of a successful program are discussed in the article focusing on realistic goals. This begins with a partnership between surgeon leaders, hospital administrators, and industry support. Through this partnership, an appropriate training pathway and clinical pathway for success can be outlined. A timeline can then be created with periods of data analysis and adjustments as necessary. A successful program is attainable by following this pathway and attending to every detail along the journey.