Integrated OR, a concept brought to light to lessen the complexity of the most complicated environment in any hospital – the operating rooms. It is the process of streamlining and simplifying the operating room environment by utilizing an OR integration system.
Why is this important? Let’s take a look at that. If you come across any operating room, you will find surgical lights, surgical tables, surgical displays, monitors, recording devices, camera systems, room lights, and much more. Along with that, there can be some mobile OR devices that are brought in based on the surgical procedure being performed.
Now during the surgery, the surgical team has to navigate through all of that. They have to check computers for patient information, write down important details, move the wall to adjust room lighting or change the video or the display. That means they have to divert their attention from patients to other environmental factors more than once during surgery. One mistake in such an environment can cause serious problems.
An OR integration system connects medical devices, room and surgical lights, audio/ video, and HVAC systems to one central control hub. As a result, surgical teams can easily control surgical equipment, access any information, and make changes to the environment with a simple push of a button.
Benefits of OR Integration
In hospitals, operating room integration is something that benefits all. Whether we look at it from the patient’s perspective or in terms of medical staff and management. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits to understand how OR integration can contribute to the well-being of everyone.
Productivity & Efficiency – The Core of OR Integration System
One of the most important benefits of operating room integration is increased productivity. Since an integrated OR is connected to the hospital, information system, and all the devices, preparing the OR for any surgery takes lesser time than usual.
Surgeons can directly access any patient diagnostic reports, scans, and other details within the OR, and consult other doctors outside the OR without moving the patient or wasting any time.
In addition to that, some OR management systems such as ORNet also offer the option of user-based presets. So, the hospitals can store surgeon-specific table setups and light combinations and save the setup time before every surgery.
Lower Operating Costs
A common belief about OR integration systems is that they are expensive. Though it is not wrong as the initial investment is higher, an OR integration system is more cost-effective in the long run.
For instance, whenever a new system or device is brought into the OR, it requires extensive training for the medical staff to ensure that they can use it effectively. Considering the magnitude of devices in the OR and training the medical staff to utilize all of them to the best, the time and amount of money hospitals need to spend is huge.
In comparison to that, having an OR integration and management system means you have to train your medical staff to operate only the OR system, not all the devices connected to it. So every time a medical device in the OR is changed or upgraded, the medical staff doesn’t need to be trained to use that. As a result, it saves a lot of money and effort on the management end.
Having an OR integration and management system means patient security, before, during, and after surgery. Having access to hospital information systems and imaging and diagnostic equipment means patients stay in the OR and the need to move them for every step is eliminated.
Moreover, all the patient’s data including diagnostic images and reports are tagged in the system. That ensures traceability and access to the right treatment at any given stage. Doctors can access all those images and videos and replay them whenever needed.
Apart from that, the usage rights for data are managed under the hospital’s data security policy so any unauthorized person can not access that data. Alongside that, OR integration systems are designed to cope up with any unexpected network failures through the backup system. So, in case there is any network issue, the data is backed up automatically and none of the patient’s information is lost.
Another advantage of integrated OR is improved communication for the purpose of collaboration and learning.
During the surgical procedure, there is often the need for consulting or collaboration with surgeons in the other ORs. An OR integration system makes that process easier by allowing surgical teams to share live video and audio with minimum latency during the surgery with doctors or other integrated ORs.
Hospitals can also broadcast this feed directly to the classrooms and seminar halls for medical students for learning. That eliminates the need for having students in the operating room and allows surgical teams to focus on the patients.
One of the biggest advantages of the OR is improved workflow by connecting all the processes, information, and teams.
With patient information being readily available, surgeon-based presets for lighting and surgical tables, and an instant shutdown feature, everything happens without wasting any time. Surgeries can start immediately and once done, all the equipment goes to sleep mode to allow cleaning staff to do their job. The during surgery images and videos are available instantly to have a post-surgery consultation. Moreover, all the data is tagged with the patient file for convenient storage and future access.
OR Integration benefits everyone
Integrated ORs are bringing efficiency, productivity, and safety that benefits everyone involved. Time saved through the use of OR integration systems allows hospitals to perform more surgical procedures and save more lives. Patient safety is ensured with the possibility of less invasive, less time taking, and technologically advanced surgical procedures. Meanwhile, surgical teams get to benefit from the integrated technologies that add to the surgeon’s skills and make the OR environment simple and streamlined.