News of Sarasota Memorial’s new integrated operating rooms (i-ORs) may have been overshadowed by the “topping out” of the hospital’s Courtyard Tower this summer, but as construction continues on the state-of-the-art tower, local surgeons are enjoying the benefits of the most sophisticated, modern operating environment available today.
In August, Sarasota Memorial unveiled four new integrated operating rooms dedicated to minimally invasive and women’s surgery. Each room features flat panel, high-definition monitors mounted to the walls and ceiling; in-suite imaging capabilities that provide immediate access to radiologic or pathologic data; and the most advanced minimally invasive surgical tools available to operate through small holes (endoscopically/laparoscopically) rather than large incisions.
The i-ORs (sometimes called intelligent operating rooms) interconnect medical systems and hospital departments, using secure internet connections to provide instant communication and visualization of medical information between a surgeon, consulting physicians, pathologists and other specialists in different or distant locations. For example, when a surgeon takes a biopsy and sends it to the lab for analysis, images from the lab microscope can be sent back so that the surgeon and pathologist can consult via phone while the surgery is in progress, avoiding delays that in the past might have meant a second surgery.
“Basically, it puts everything the surgeon needs at his fingertips (or voice command) to make the best decisions and provide the best possible care to his patients,” said Sarasota Memorial Chief of Medical Operations R. Stephen Taylor, MD.
Designed on a technological platform that the hospital can build on for the future, the i-ORs also provide improved training and teaching opportunities. Sarasota Memorial surgeons have been recognized for pioneering a number of new applications in robotic and minimally invasive surgery. Through videoconferencing, high-resolution images and multiple views of an operation, physicians and medical students can view an entire surgery – from multiple angles inside the room, even inside a patient’s body – from different locations across the nation or abroad.
More innovations are planned. Thanks to a grant from Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, the hospital also is moving ahead with construction of a hybrid cardiac catheterization lab-OR. The hybrid facility combines the best elements of the operating room with advanced imaging necessary for cardiac catheterization – all in one location. The dual functionality provides physicians with the optimal environment to treat patients who require simultaneous catheterization and surgery.
“The hybrid approach enable us to bring together our best talents and technologies so that we can streamline and provide the safest, least invasive care for patients who need multiple procedures as part of their treatment,” Dr. Taylor said.