This is Part 2 of a 4-part series on optimizing hybrid ORs for patients. Part 1 offered an overview of hybrid OR benefits. In part 2, we’ll discuss ways to enhance the patient experience.
Though image-guided therapy (IGT) and hybrid operating rooms offer clear patient benefits, they also change how hospitals and clinicians perform procedures. With that in mind, ensuring patients feel comfortable, safe and at ease before, during and after surgery is vital.
Image-guided therapy promotes precision by granting clinicians a real-time view of internal tissues – for example, a surgeon could use IGT to guide tumor removal. Patients must remain stationary to get clear images, but staying still for extended periods can pose injury risks for sedated patients who can’t communicate discomfort from:
- Pressure injuries
- Soft tissue and muscle injuries
- Potential respiratory, circulatory and nerve complications
Another consideration: more than 60% of surgical patients are overweight or obese. Though OR equipment is frequently designed for larger patients, most IGT tabletops are too narrow, risking patient comfort and safety.
Consider how to position patients naturally and comfortably while still allowing imaging and interventional access. For example:
- Bariatric extenders accommodate larger patients, making it easier to position them safely
- Carbon fiber extenders are radiolucent, allowing clinicians to take images without repositioning patients
- Full-length memory foam table pads prevent pressure injuries
Safety and security
Bariatric extenders and strap sets help keep patients secure, but safety extends beyond positioning and fall prevention. Flexibility and convertibility are integral features of hybrid operating rooms.
Hybrid operating rooms accommodate multiple different types of procedures, and they enable clinicians to combine interventions into a single surgery. Staff can convert rooms between procedures or even in-procedure. Surgeons can intend to conduct a minimally invasive procedure with the ability to convert to an open procedure if required.
Though this concept is specific to hybrid ORs, it lends patient confidence during image-guided therapy because they know their care team is prepared. Specialized equipment, such as rail extenders that facilitate the attachment of many traditional OR tools, allows surgical staff to quickly adapt the room for patient needs.
Ease of mind
Patients naturally worry about medical interventions and could experience heightened anxiety around “new” or “unconventional” procedures such as image-guided therapy. Hospitals can foster positive patient experiences by explaining measures to keep them comfortable, safe and secure.
For example, hospital staff can discuss how bariatric extenders and hip straps prevent patients from slipping or falling during image-guided therapy or how memory foam table pads prevent pressure injuries.
Patient education lends ease of mind and includes the benefits of IGT: accurate, real-time imaging that helps doctors deliver the best care.
See how an optimized patient experience fosters improved workflow and productivity in Part 3 of this series.