What does a $450,000 F35 Lightening helmet have to do with PI in surgery?
Last week I watched the USAF Heritage Flight team composed of an F22, F35 and a WWII plane and was awestruck by our modern fighters. But the flight was nothing compared to what I learned about the $450,000 custom fitted helmet each F35 pilot wears. I stopped to talk to a crew member when up walked Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle Commander, Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. He explained in detail the comparisons and unique differences between the F35 and F22. More fascinating than the plane was the description of the custom made helmet which has dual projectors that provide data for the pilot on the face mask shield (See Photo of plane, helmet and the 4Star General). But what intrigued me most was the ability for the pilot to walk off the plane, head to the debriefing room, plug the helmet in and go thru the data for performance improvement. Yes-they debrief after every flight for performance improvement purposes.
Earlier this month at the AVAS 40th annual meeting, Justin Dimick, MD, FACS (Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, and Director of the Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy at the University of Michigan) presented their success in video based coaching in Michigan in his talk INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING SURGICAL PERFORMANCE. I will go more into detail about his talk in our upcoming newsletter, but it is clear from his preliminary results that this process of reviewing films with peers will result in performance improvement. When we work in a non-competitive collaborative environment, it is clear we can improve how we operate. As Malcolm Gladwell clearly notes in his book ‘BLINK’, what we perceive we did and what really occurred are not always the same. Reviewing a video of oneself can clearly erase the barriers we face during the process of change. Let's face it, pilots have been debriefing for a hundred years so maybe we really have no excuse for not following suit.
KENNETH A. LIPSHY, MD, FACS