Archive Surgical Construction 2018

Outfit Eye-Popping Eye ORs

Pay attention to the details when preparing versatile rooms for a full complement of cases.

Todd Albertz

Todd Albertz


WALL TO WALL Rooms don't have to be big to host eye procedures, but they do need to be designed to ensure equipment, gas lines and outlets are strategically placed.

If you're thinking about building an ophthalmic surgery center, forget what the self-help books say. Sweat the small stuff. I've been involved in the planning and building of several facilities and can assure you that no detail is too minor. For example, when we were building a recent facility, it wasn't until the walls were up, the electric was run and we were about a month from opening that I brought a couple of techs over and asked them to walk through a case. I said: How do you set up the room? How do you get your instruments? What do you do after the case? Where do you take the instruments?

Only then did we realize that the facility's design would have forced the techs to put instruments down, open the OR doors, pick the instruments back up, go through and close the doors behind them. A detail like that may sound minor, but wasted seconds add up, especially in a volume-driven specialty like cataract surgery. Fortunately, we still had enough time to install electronic opening devices with kick plates at foot level. The lesson: Every decision is important. You can't do too many walk-throughs and process reviews when assessing the following design essentials.

ยท Room size and layout. You don't need a lot of space for an all-purpose ophthalmic operating room. Most guidelines suggest at least 325 square feet (15 x 15). You do, however, need to be strategic in terms of where the medical gases are piped in and where the overhead lights are situated. As long as you have those 3 components — adequate space, gas and good lighting — you can make any OR work.

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