Health Care Analysis 28 (1):73-97 (2020)

Abstract
Improving surgical interventions is key to improving outcomes. Ensuring the safe and transparent translation of such improvements is essential. Evaluation and governance initiatives, including the IDEAL framework and the Macquarie Surgical Innovation Identification Tool have begun to address this. Yet without a definition of innovation that allows non-surgeons to identify when it is occurring, these initiatives are of limited value. A definition seems elusive, so we undertook a conceptual study of surgical innovation. This indicated common conceptual areas in discussions of innovation, that we categorised alliteratively under the themes of “purpose”, “place”, “process”, “product” and “person”. These conceptual areas are used in varying—sometimes contradictory—ways in different discussions. Highlighting these conceptual areas of surgical innovation may be useful in clarifying what should be reported in registries of innovation. However our wider conclusion was that the term “innovation” carries too much conceptual baggage to inform normative inquiry about surgical practice. Instead, we propose elimination of the term “innovation” from serious discourse aimed at evaluation and regulation of surgery. In our view researchers, philosophers and policy-makers should consider what it is about surgical activity that needs attention and develop robust definitions to identify these areas: for our own focus on transparency and safety, this means finding criteria that can objectively identify certain risk profiles during the development of surgery.
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DOI 10.1007/s10728-019-00380-y
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References found in this work BETA

Splitting Concepts.Gualtiero Piccinini & Sam Scott - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (4):390-409.
Innovative Surgery and the Precautionary Principle.Denise Meyerson - 2013 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (6):jht047.

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