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7 Design Tips to Future-Proof Your Surgical Suite

The future of surgical suites begins today with the right partner, the right equipment, and the right setup.

In a recent New York Times series on the Future of Health Care, an article focused on re-imagining and future-proofing the operating room — making way for new technology while improving patient and staff safety along the way.

The Importance of an Optimal Operating Room Design

Having partnered closely with both the Medical University of South Carolina and Loma Linda facilities featured in the article, we know that it takes a lot of planning to outfit an operating room. Whether reconfiguring an existing facility or building a new one, designing and constructing healthcare environments with the necessary infrastructure and technology can be a lengthy, arduous process. There are several factors to consider:

● Ideal equipment placement and configurations for universal and scalable applications

● Improving ergonomics, efficiency and infection control through room design

● Maintaining a balanced approach of coordinating between building infrastructure and capital equipment while keeping patient and staff safety and well-being in mind

Both the placement and quality of the equipment in a surgical suite play crucial roles, helping to support patient safety and workflow optimization while offering efficient care. Equipment that is versatile and compatible with surgical tables can ensure you make the most out of the operating room.

Key Considerations for Surgical Suite Design

Finding ways of getting equipment off the floor of a surgical suite requires the use of ceiling-mounted options, including boom lights that have various arms to allow for the hanging of monitors. Your surgical suite layout can not only aid with workflow, but it can also help to reduce infections.

A continuous laminar flow system over the operating room table is an important option to consider for the reduction of bacteria in the surgical suite.¹ It refers to a continuous flow of highly filtered and ultraclean air that is recirculated under positive pressure so that contaminants are removed.

Additionally, standardization in the surgical suite design should be a focus. Standardization reduces costs — without affecting the safety or efficacy of treatments.² It can support efficiency as well, helping to cut down on the amount of equipment in the surgical suite at any given time.

Lighting is another concern in the surgical suite, with patient safety consistently suffering because of teams not optimizing their lighting options.³

Lighting that restricts mobility, requires lengthy adjustments, introduces contaminant concerns, or creates any other issue affects both the surgical team and the patient, as well as the outcome of the procedure.³ Opting for lighting that provides flexibility helps to improve the way the surgical suite functions.

Mounting systems that offer opportunities for expansion into specialty suites also help to maximize the hospital design. They make it possible to consider robotic surgery in the future without giving up the space you have today.

7 Tips for Designing a Future-Proof Surgical Suite

If you’re thinking about future-proofing your healthcare environment, here are seven tips to consider before you get started:

  1. Continually align on clinical, design and financial objectives throughout the planning and construction process to save time and money.
  2. Plan and practice your OR workflow before you purchase to maximize clinical benefits.
  3. Avoid limited or inflexible designs to improve case mix and increase workflow efficiency.
  4. Standardize your ORs as much as possible to support more cases and procedure types.
  5. Implement a continuous laminar flow system over the operating table to improve infection control.¹
  6. Establish optimal equipment locations and travel radii to ensure day-to-day flexibility.
  7. Use effective mounting systems for future expansion into specialty suites.

At Hillrom, we can help you through this process with our deeply knowledgeable Construction Solutions team. They will engage early with your clinical teams, architects and equipment planners to bring your vision to life using:

● Revit® software with family editor and 3D room design capabilities

● CAD files, cut sheets and bid specs

● Mock room setups — either physical or virtual

By following these seven tips and partnering with our team of experts, you can be confident you are choosing the right equipment and the right setup — so you are equipped on Day One and prepared for the future.

Learn More About Designing the Ideal Surgical Suite

Contact us today to learn more as you bring it all together in the OR.