The paint's dry and the tables have been rolled into place. All that's left to decide is what kind of images will flash across the monitors that hang in the sparkling new ORs. For the Seaside Surgery Center in Naples, Fla., which practices exclusively in orthopedics and podiatry, the opportunity to provide surgeons with 4K images that burst off the screen in deep colorful hues was too tempting to resist. But for Aurora Health Care, a surgery center in Burlington, Wis., the need to handle a broad range of specialties led to an integrated high-definition-based system that addresses everyone's needs. If you're building, expanding or updating your ORs, learn from these facilities' experiences to find the system that works best for you and your surgeons.
Consider the options
There's no question that 4K, with resolution that's 4 times greater than that of high-definition, provides a wow factor and many are convinced that it leads, or will lead, to better outcomes. But if cameras and monitors aren't compatible, the benefits of having a 4K monitor will be negligible.
"The technology will be fine once all laparoscopic cameras are 4K-compatible," says Yuman Fong, MD, chief of surgery at City of Hope (Calif.) Medical Center and co-author of the book Imaging and Visualization in the Modern Operating Room. "But most facilities have 1080 (high-definition) cameras or less, so 4K monitors don't help them."
That lack of universality was a deal-breaker, says Lori Dostalek, RN, BSN, CNOR, the OR manager at Aurora Health Care, which opened in October 2016 and offers a wide range of specialties. "We considered 4K, but it would have required investing in specialty cameras and lenses," she says.
Instead, they chose a universal system so all the lenses and camera heads in the facility would be interchangeable. "The system we got also had laparoscopic lenses and arthroscopic lenses," she says, "so that was very beneficial to all the surgeons who operate here."
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