Most medical device firms offer training to insure best application of their products. DePuy (Raynham, Massachusetts) has taken that a step further by opening the DePuy Institute to provide education, training and research so that healthcare professionals can enhance their skills across a range of conditions.

"Our goal is to provide members of the healthcare community with world-class training resources and share knowledge about best practices," Diana Bacci-Walsh, Worldwide Vice President of Professional Education, told Medical Device Daily. "We hope it will lead to optimal patient outcomes."

The institute will provide year-round educational programs on the latest concepts, techniques and technologies in the areas of minimally invasive surgery, aging spine, deformity, neurological disease, joint replacement and trauma care with faculty from teaching institutions and academic centers.

"We're going to focus on hands-on experience," Bacci-Walsh said. "We'll do so keeping in mind the true needs of the surgeon. We'll personalize their curriculum. If they're not familiar with a procedure, for example, we'll do an exercise first like online training. If they are more advanced, we have a lab for practical sessions with cadavers to get a tactile feel and have an opportunity to really understand how the procedure will work."

The program isn't limited to surgeons though, it will include hospital administrators, nurses, interventionalists and other healthcare professionals.

DePuy, which makes orthopedic devices, will feature their own products as part of the training.

The first program offered at the institute will be the DePuy Spine Summit on Diagnosis and Treatment Options for the Aging Spine where clinicians will learn about advanced treatment options for various spinal pathologies including vertebral compression fractures, scoliosis, revision strategies and the use of minimally invasive techniques.

"We like to focus on what the true needs of our customers are, such as aging demographics," she said. "There's more need to determine what to do with the older patient who needs a revision or has brittle bones, so one of our key courses is diagnosis and treatment options for the aging spine."

The institute will be the global hub for training for all DePuy related companies. Groups of physicians and other healthcare workers will be brought on site to take part in the training.

"On Monday we had a Latin American group," Bacci-Walsh said. "We have a Canadian contingent coming in and some people form Japan. For some of these countries there's a real need for even basic training for some of those physicians."

In addition to hands on surgical training, the institute is also working to have video of live surgeries streamed into the facility so that groups of healthcare professionals can watch, rather than having to fly them in for on-site demonstrations.

"We want to create a community of surgeon who can help other surgeons learn," she said. "We'll create some mentor opportunities, a peer-to-peer situation, but all of our training will use our products."

"Education, training and research are the cornerstones of success both inside and outside the operating room and are essential to the advancement of care and the improvement of patient outcomes," said Mike Mahoney, DePuy group chairman, DePuy. "The DePuy Institute reflects our ongoing commitment to education throughout the continuum of orthopedic and neurological care and creates an environment and sense of community conducive to learning, connecting and sharing knowledge across disciplines."

Lynn Yoffee, 770-361-4789;