Our Mission

Our aim is to be the global leader in understanding and promoting factors that support the highest quality surgical outcomes.

We will work with our collaborators to dig deeply into the questions that matter most to surgical teams, patients and our health systems.

We will develop a rich understanding of the variables and hidden dependencies that impact surgical quality, safety and outcomes.

The knowledge developed within our center will be translated to inform guidelines, decision support tools and education that create measurable improvements in surgical outcomes across the globe.

To Err Is Human – A Patient Safety Documentary

Medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death each year. Watch as this documentary explores the epidemic and teams working to improve patient safety including ICSS.

Our Timeline

2006
Dr. Teodor Grantcharov establishes research lab in surgical simulation and education at St. Michael’s Hospital
2009
Start of research into surgical curriculum design founded on evidence-based research
2011
Adoption of new surgical curriculum at the University of Toronto surgical residency program
2012
Dr. Teodor Grantcharov and team formally explore OR Black Box concept
2013
Collaborative design and implementation of 1st generation OR Black Box at St. Michael’s hospital
2013
Generic Error Rating Tool published in British Journal of Surgery serving as the foundation for technical assessment of surgical teams
2016
Start of collaborative research project in general surgery with our first European collaborator Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC) in Amsterdam, Netherlands
2017
Development and implementation of perioperative nursing debriefing sessions
2018
Start of a collaborative research project in general surgery with North York General Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
2018
Start of a collaborative research project in general surgery with Humber River Hospital in Toronto, Canada
2018
Expansion into Gynecologic surgery research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
2018
Start of a collaborative research project with The Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa, Canada.
2019
Through the support of the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, funding is secured to formally transition Dr. Teodor Grantcharov’s research lab into the International Centre for Surgical Safety.
2019
Start of a collaborative research project and expansion into Vascular surgery with Ghent University Hospital in Ghent, Belgium.
2019
Start of a collaborative research project and expansion into Urology with Long Island Jewish Health Medical Centre in New York City, United States.
2019
Open surgery capture technology developed, piloted and evaluated at St. Michael’s Hospital.
2019
Start of research project piloting eye-tracker technology to assess the effects of distractions on surgeons’ visual attention.

Our Team

We are a talented team of professionals from 11 different countries with a passion for revolutionizing transparency in surgical care.

Aaron Miller PhD (candidate)

PhD Research Student - Institute of Medical Science (UofT)

Experienced health informatics professional and researcher. Project will explore how the O.R. Black Box can be leveraged as an intraoperative data capture tool to identify and implement perioperative quality improvement opportunities.

Adolfo Lopez-Rios, MD

Surgical Analyst

Expert clinical assessment of surgical case capture. (Plastic Surgeon – Colombia)

Amalia Gil, MHSc (candidate)

Masters Research Student – Clinical Engineering (UofT)

Studying the use of eye-tracking technology into the data capture platform in order to identify distractions and disruptions that most affect the surgical team.

Bijan Dastgheib, MD

Surgical Analyst

Expert clinical assessment of surgical case capture.
(General Surgeon - Iran)

Bonnie Armstrong, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Cognitive Neuroscience

Dr. Armstrong has a background in examining how judgments and decision processes can lead to decision error from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. Her postdoctoral work involves studying the neural activity of the surgeon that underpins error during real surgeries using EEG equipment, as well as supporting ICSS research trainees to streamline research output.

Danny Yang, MHSc (candidate)

Masters Research Student - Clinical Engineering (UofT)

Designing an eye tracking system to understand how the critically high cognitive loads experienced by surgeons affects their performance.

Ekta Bhavsar, BSc

Research Assistant

A frontline team member responsible for liaising with St. Michael’s Hospital surgical patients and clinical staff to ensure proper data capture.

Farzaneh Ebrihimifard, MD

Surgical Analyst

Expert clinical assessment of surgical case capture.
(General Surgeon – Iran)

Frank Rudzicz, BSc, MEng, PhD

AI Scientist

AI research including machine learning for internal-view and external-view recordings

Ilinca Dutescu, BSc, MA (candidate)

Research Assistant

A frontline team member, responsible for liaising with St. Michael’s Hospital surgical patients and clinical staff to ensure proper data capture.

Juliano Maeso Montes, MD

Surgical Analyst

Expert clinical assessment of surgical case capture.
(Trauma Surgeon – Brazil)

Kate Kazlovich, MHSc, PhD (candidate)

PhD Research Student - Biomedical Engineering (UofT) Clinical Engineering Trainee

Design and development of a multi-camera video recording system for intraoperative capture and analysis of open surgical cases.

Lauren Gordon, BSc, MSc, MD, PhD (candidate)

PhD Research Student – Biomedical Engineering (UofT)
Associate Researcher

An associate researcher currently expanding comprehensive operative capture to vascular and endovascular surgery: developing new ways to assess skills in the angiography suite, and exploring how to improve surgical risk prediction. Supporting ICSS research trainees to maximize research output and professional growth. (Vascular Surgery Resident – Canada)

Marc Settino BSc, MES, MBA

Research Program Manager

Management and coordination of ICSS projects, staff and resources, as well as, strategic and financial planning.

Pansy Schulthess, RN, MEd (candidate)

Nursing Research Associate

Collaborating with team members and providing nursing insights to inform assessment, research education and quality improvement initiatives. (Clinical Nurse Specialist, St. Michael’s Hospital)

Qurrat Tahir, MD

Surgical Analyst

Expert clinical assessment of surgical case capture.
(Trauma Surgeon – Pakistan)

Sara Elkabany, MD

Surgical Analyst

Expert clinical assessment of surgical case capture
(Obstetrics and Gynaecology Surgeon – Egypt)

Sayyed Nezhadi (no photo available)

PhD Research Student – Computer Science (UofT)

Building algorithms to aid in auto-detection of various laparoscopic instruments introduced during surgery.

Shuja Khalid, MScAC, PhD (candidate)

PhD Research Student – Computer Science (UofT)

AI research in the areas of de-identification (auto-blurring and muting of surgical footage), as well as surgical performance estimation.

Sophia DiNicolo, BSc (candidate)

Student Research Assistant

Support various research projects at the Centre.

Suzan Ayas, MEng, PhD (candidate)

PhD Research Student – Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (UofT)

With a Human Factors lens, examining the effect of distractions on technical events in the OR and developing a framework to mitigate these distractions.

Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD

Director

Development and articulation of vision, local, national and international relationship building, identification of clinically relevant and innovative avenues of pursuit. (General Surgeon – Canada)

Vanessa Palter, MD, PhD

Senior Researcher

Dr. Palter’s research interests include surgical education, technical performance and assessment, and patient safety.
(General Surgeon / Oncology – Canada)

Vanessa Paz-Barreiras, BSc

Operating Room Systems Analyst

Expert situational assessment of surgical case capture.

Summer Students

Representing Queens University, University of Toronto, and Western University, our 2019 summer students assisted the ICSS team in a variety of research pursuits.

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