Design Collaboration Builds New Bridges

A hybrid operating room is a state-of-the-art surgical suite that allows the OR team to access CT or MRI images before, during, and after a procedure. These multifunctional rooms contain fully integrated imaging technology, combining surgery, imaging, and diagnostic services without having to move the patient. It means the patient stays in a sterile zone, which reduces risk and infection, and improves efficiency and recovery time.

Packard Children’s expansion will add two dedicated pediatric hybrid ORs, allowing surgeons to collaborate with pathologists and radiologists during surgery and make assessments using almost real-time images.

But collaborations have already started. Teams of physicians, nurses, and parents went through a number of real-life scenarios in the mock-up rooms that Packard Children’s constructed offsite to fine-tune the expansion’s design and layout. Designers and engineers also attended the mockup simulations so they could make modifications based on user feedback.

When the surgical teams tested the hybrid OR, they found that patients would need to move between the angiogram and MRI scanner without having to be lifted or shifted from one table to another. But because the imaging equipment was made by two different manufacturers, the sizing was inconsistent, and no table existed that would fit them both.

The group needed a mobile table that could “bridge” the patient between the different scanners, says Michael Edwards, MD, chief of pediatric neurosurgery.  Working directly with the onsite vendors meant that the team could modify the design—not only at Packard Children’s but at future hybrid ORs anywhere in the country.

“The breakthrough comes when you’re thinking of something that hasn’t been done yet,” says Edwards. “You tell the vendor what we want to do, and they say, ‘We don’t do that yet.’ But then they realize that the trend is starting here and that other hospitals will face the same issue. So they build it.”

Their open collaboration will improve pediatric surgery—and ensure a safer set-up—for all patients who need multiple scans during a procedure.



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