4 Benefits of a Hybrid Operating Room

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Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., opened a new $3 million hybrid operating room in May, combining the capabilities of a cardiac catheterization lab and the disinfected environment of an operating room. Michael Jarotkiewicz, the executive director of the cardiovascular service line at LUMC, shares four key benefits that the emerging hybrid OR is able to offer to a hospital.

1. New surgical utilizations. LUMC still has a functioning cardiac cath lab, but if there is ever overflow, the hybrid OR lends itself to those types of operative procedures, Mr. Jarotkiewicz says. "You have to look at utilization," he says. "Some hybrid rooms in organizations sit idle. If it's not used for surgical procedures, for example, our vascular surgeons can do procedures that we can do in the cath lab."

A hybrid OR also gives surgeons and medical staff the flexibility to juggle and finish different procedures — from open-heart surgeries to stenting coronary arteries — without moving between floors or discharging patients. "Stent patients would be normally discharged then readmitted, but this gives you the ability to do some things in combination where you couldn't do those things before," Mr. Jarotkiewicz says.

2. Enhanced patient safety. Utilizing a hybrid OR in those various ways directly impacts patient safety. Because everything can occur in one room, emergencies or complications can be handled in one spot without putting a patient's safety at risk, Mr. Jarotkiewicz says. "If a simple endovascular procedure went wrong, you can automatically convert it into a surgical case," he says.

3. Time and long-term cost savings. Because patients would not have to have their surgery staged over a period of days, things are more convenient and, consequently, cost effective, Mr. Jarotkiewicz says. OR staffs do not have to be relocated for multi-faceted procedures, physicians have state-of-the-art imaging devices for better visualization and improved safety prevents unnecessary operations. "If you do procedures in the hybrid suite, there is no relocation of staff or time delays, and it's much more cost effective to do it in the one, right location," Mr. Jarotkiewicz says.

To save on future potential costs, Mr. Jarotkiewicz says designing the room for future installations is a prudent measure. For example, LUMC's hybrid OR is currently a single-plane lab, which means it has one permanent imaging arm in the lab. However, Mr. Jarotkiewicz says they designed the OR and ceiling structure to accommodate future plans of a bi-plane layout, which could expand the OR for neurological cases.

4. Efficient and content OR staff. Mr. Jarotkiewicz says the development of the hybrid OR was an entire group effort. Physicians, anesthesiologists, technical staff and many others gave input on how to design the OR and what equipment was needed. Consequently, the staff's disposition has been high while scheduling and use of room has been efficient due to its group-centered approach. "Everyone's working in it, and everyone's happy because we involved everyone at the beginning," Mr. Jarotkiewicz says. "You must work together in a multidisciplinary manner."

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