It’s easy to see the benefits of the operating room transformation project at Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) which resulted in the decommissioning of outdated operating rooms and replacing them with 12 modern surgical suites. Ranging in size from 570 square feet to 840 square feet, each suite adds significantly more space for the sophisticated equipment now available to CVMC surgeons. The project represents a multi-million dollar undertaking that is a testament to the organization’s culture of continuously improving both human and capital resources to provide the best patient outcomes possible in this community.
The modern surgical suites are equipped with tools that are part robot and part imaging device. Video cameras are built into maneuverable light fixtures mounted on overhead booms above the operating tables. High-definition images are displayed on large wall-mounted flat screens so everyone in the room can see exactly what the surgeon sees. Images can also be transmitted to other parts of the medical center including radiology, oncology, or a conference room. Electronic patient documentation allows the entire medical team to manage information relevant to a patient and the procedure being performed.
“Because of the technology integrated into the new suites, patients can have greater confidence in choosing CVMC for surgery,” said Michele McGlamery, CVMC Administrator Surgery Service Line. “Every detail selected was based on providing improved surgical outcomes using evidence-based equipment and practices.“
A laminar air filtration system continuously circulates filtered air to reduce the risk of airborne contamination. Each suite is sealed and features monitors that maintain humidity, air pressure and other key parameters within the specifications necessary for a highly sterile surgical environment. Smoke from surgical lasers is safely evacuated to minimize risk of exposure to toxic gas, cellular material or viruses. The anesthesia equipment and plug and play options offered create a wide array of adaptations for medical devices to maximize the overall efficiency of any surgical procedure.
Designated areas within each suite provide a sanitized area for the clinical team to prepare instruments and disposable supplies in a more streamlined surgical workflow. A storage bay with retractable overhead doors protect equipment such as the daVinci robot from damage. What’s more, the new efficiencies mean that more patients can receive care than before.
The design of the new suites incorporates well-delineated traffic patterns to move patients, supplies and equipment more efficiently. To establish the extremely detailed patterns, CVMC nursing staff closely evaluated previous practices down to the point of counting the steps each process required and the number of times each activity occurred.
One new suite is exclusively used for Cesarean section (C-section) deliveries and is located in the Birthing Center of the Women’s and Children’s Pavilion. The C-section suite provides ample room for a mother’s entire medical team including obstetrician, surgical team, neonatal nurse practitioner and respiratory therapist. With this suite located in the Birthing Center, newborns get optimal care at delivery and can stay close to family throughout the delivery process.
Upgrading conventional operating rooms was a complex multi-phased project which began as a vision shared by a cross-functional team. Members of the team painstakingly researched every option and toured hospitals recognized as having the nation’s best surgical facilities. CVMC surgeons also contributed to the improvement efforts providing input at each stage – from equipment selection to the migration plan. With the incorporation of sophisticated technology in the all-new suites came a requirement for all surgical personnel to complete extensive training.” Our surgeons have unanimously praised these enhancements and have enthusiastically engaged in the process of creating the ergonomic and highly functional suites,” said McGlamery.