To operate successfully, surgeons must plan surgical operations appropriately. However, it is difficult to plan operations adequately because they are often complicated and involve substantial amounts of medical knowledge and information concerning patients. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a process model for surgical operation planning.
In the present study, we divided surgical operation planning into three processes, “Process for understanding the patient’s condition,” “Process for designing the surgical operation plan,” and “Process for reviewing the plan.” We identified that an ideal surgery is one that can lead to a radical cure, and can minimize the adverse effect on the QOL of the patient. Based on this, we designed the basic concept of the best surgical operation plan, and developed a process model to facilitate its use. We first identified the components of surgical operation plan and information necessary to the processes for understanding and designing. We then identified functions of the processes and visualized information and functions with a data flow diagram. Finally, we developed a tool for quality assurance in planning, and tested the model by applying it to 9 cases. Subsequently, we proved that the model marshaled the complex process and facilitated the retrospective detection of problems.