After a tragic plane or automobile crash, we often read that investigators will know more about the incident after they check the "black box." These devices record data that proves to be crucial in determining what went wrong and under what conditions the accident occurred. The information gathered from the black box can be crucial to collecting objective and clear information.
A similar system is being tested in a Canadian hospital to record data during surgical procedures. Upon completion of an operation, doctors can look back at their work and identify any areas where mistakes may have been made. The black box system consisting of three cameras and three microphones was recently installed in one hospital as part of a pilot period. During the period it determined that doctors have been making errors during two specific steps during laparoscopic weight-loss surgeries (Lap-Band).