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The New Rules of Travel for the Modern OR

Wed, 07/12/2006 - 10:54am
With all of the potential risks facing a patient undergoing a surgical procedure, surgeons and nurses have enough to worry about. Unfortunately, the risk of injury to both the patient and staff begins even before they enter the operating room. The transport of the patient from one area of the hospital to another, and the transfer of that patient from bed to stretcher to surgical table can be a risky and trying ordeal for all those involved—especially when dealing with the growing population of obese patients.

The TranSTAT Device Transport System from STERIS is
a compact system that transfers critical care devices directly to a patient’s bed for easy transport.
Recently, there has been a move by many healthcare facilities to improve patient throughput by organizing the hospital environment to conform to a more “European style.” This usually entails an almost assembly-line process of moving patients from pre-op through post-op as efficiently—and with as little transfer from surface to surface—as possible.

To accommodate this growing trend, a number of global leaders in surgical table and patient transport equipment development have been designing innovative and versatile new tables and transport systems that can facilitate the patient throughout the entire operative process with minimal need for transfers. Still other companies are developing devices that ease the transfer and transport of patients by taking much of the physical strain off the hospital staff. Whatever the approach, these new developments and devices will most likely be playing a very important roll in the next generation of operating rooms.

The TRUMPF ORBIT PT transfers patients seamlessly from the hospital bed to a mobile OR table, reducing stress and risk of injury to both patient and staff.
TRUMPF Medical Systems, Inc. in Charleston, SC offers a variety of versatile patient transport and transfer systems including the TRUMPF ORBIT PT and the TRUMPF IMEC. With a focus on safety for staff and patients, as well as efficiency across the healthcare facility, the TRUMPF patient transfer product line has been proven to effectively improve patient flow management and reduce non-operative time by 30 percent in actual day to day use.

The TRUMPF ORBIT PT provides “one nurse, one button, no lifting” patient transfer directly from the patient’s hospital bed to a mobile OR table. The patient is transferred from the bed to the ORBIT surface by a smooth and comfortable automated conveyance motion. The ORBIT PT top then slides laterally moving the patient to the opposite side of the system where a mobile OR table is positioned. Laser light stops ensure the patient’s safety during transfer, while the ORBIT’s heated surface adds to the patient’s comfort and aids relaxation. The ORBIT PT reduces physical stress and risk of injury to patients and staff members alike. In addition, staff members who are currently called on to assist with manual patient transfers are freed to concentrate on their primary patient-care roles.

The ALPHAMAQUET Surgical Table System from
Getinge USA conveniently transports patients through-
out the entire operative process.
The new TRUMPF IMEC (Interdisciplinary Medical Equipment Carrier) is an innovative system that allows for fast, simple and secure transport of critical care patients without disconnecting and re-connecting the patient’s IV supply and monitoring systems. The IMEC’s one-hand lever and docking mechanism allow the patient’s supply to be transferred from TRUMPF’s ceiling-mounted boom to the IMEC’s mobile cart, which in turn quickly links to the patient’s bed. The result is that the patient, IV supply, monitoring equipment and bed are all ready to move as a secure, stable unit in just moments. The IMEC can be adapted to any hospital bed, eliminating many patient transfer issues.

In addition to these dedicated patient transfer systems, TRUMPF also offers a line of mobile OR tables, such as the TRUMPF JUPITER Table, as part of a system approach to patient throughput that can reduce the number of transfers required. The TRUMPF TITAN Table, with an unrestricted 1000-pound patient capacity, is a mobile, remote controlled solution that offers stability in both transport and extreme patient positioning.

Headquartered in Batesville, IN, Hill-Rom offers a variety of bariatric lifts and transfer systems designed with the safety of both patient and caregiver in mind. Working with a patient of significant weight increases the risk of injury to both the patient and caregiver. Hill-Rom’s sturdy, easy-to-use products help to minimize that risk with state-of-the-art technology that simplifies patient positioning and reduces some of the physical burden on caregivers.

Hill-Rom’s Liftem® Mark IV Portable Lift allows caregivers to move a patient with just a push of a button. Its patented lift design is capable of lifting and moving patients weighing up to 700 pounds without physically moving the lift. The Liftem device is portable, comes with an optional scale for weighing patients and has an integrated safety-control system that prevents misuse.

The TRUMPF IMEC System secures IV and monitoring equipment directly to the hospital bed, providing easy transport without having to disconnect the patient.
Another convenient Hill-Rom offering is the Air Pal® Patient Air Lift. This lift can be used to laterally transfer patients from bed to stretcher. The Air Pal features perforated chambers, which use the incoming air to lift the patient as it is released through the perforated underside, creating a cushion of air that allows one or two staff members to perform a task that typically requires four to eight people. The easy transfer helps reduce the risk of injury and is more comfortable for the patient.

Hill-Rom also offers a comprehensive line of TranStar® Stretchers. These stretchers feature dual-action four-wheel locking brakes and OneStep® TuckAway siderails for zero gap transfers. The stretchers have a 500-pound weight capacity, and are equipped with ergonomically designed push handles and the Steering Plus™ system for easier maneuverability and cornering. TranStar Stretchers also feature nickel-plated key components for durability and corrosion resistance, and standard pressure compensated flow hydraulics for even lowering.

STERIS Corporation in Mentor, OH, has long been a leader in patient transport and transfer equipment, with an extensive line of stretchers, transport chairs and mobile surgical tables. Recently, they released very simple and reliable transport system designed to accommodate a multitude of patient equipment transfer and transport concerns for a variety of hospital environments. To address the growing needs of time-sensitive and dynamic healthcare environments—especially in light of recent and increasing staffing shortages—STERIS is now offering the TranSTAT™ Device Transport System to North American markets.

The TranSTAT is a compact, four-component system that makes it easy for staff to transfer critical care devices directly to a patient’s bed for transport to any other hospital area that is bed-accessible. It can carry up to 100 pounds of devices and supplies and accommodates a wide variety of pumps, monitors and other equipment; and can be used with the Hill-Rom and Stryker acute care beds most commonly found in CCUs and ICUs. It is designed to be used in conjunction with STERIS’s Harmony™ ceiling-mounted equipment management systems, and can be docked to these booms when not in use. The patient’s equipment load is attached to the TranSTAT system within the profile of the patient’s bed, so no trolleys or extra wheels are required.

Extensive consideration for patient and staff safety was taken in the development of the TranSTAT system. Patient safety is assured through features such as the system’s safety locking mechanism, which requires both poles to be in place in order to transfer the equipment and prevents unintentional disengagement of the clamp. The clamp also locks the position and orientation of devices and monitors on the pole to prevent drifting or swinging-out of items and to provide a clear view of monitor screens during transport. In addition, the TranSTAT system has no sharp edges or pinch points to injure healthcare staff, and the clamp bears the weight of the load, so no lifting is required for transfer. And, to make things easier on the staff, one person can accomplish the load transfer in 10 seconds and can steer the bed without interference from the TranSTAT system.

Photo
courtesy of Getinge USA
Rochester, NY-based Getinge USA, Inc. offers the versatile MAQUET ALPHAMAQUET Surgical Table System to facilitate both patient handling within the OR, and transport throughout the entire operative process. The system’s interchangeable tabletop can be docked to a fixed or mobile base via a highly maneuverable transporter, enhancing both staff and patient safety by eliminating the number of surface-to-surface transfers.

The ALPHAMAQUET Surgical Table System was designed for productivity in response to best practices embodied in the European model, which emphasizes smooth and efficient patient flow management. In this regard, the table facilitates patient movement and enhanced OR efficiencies by permitting parallel perioperative processing that eliminates the backlog of sequential workflow. Patients spend significantly less time in the operating room, and intubation and post-operative monitoring can take place outside of the OR.

AliMed, Inc. in Dedham, MA has recently expanded it line of existing patient transfer equipment to include the ergonomically designed MoveMaster™ Patient Mover to facilitate the proper moving and shifting of patients. The MoveMaster has a contoured shape for easier patient loading and unloading, especially in tight quarters. Featuring anti-pinch hand holds and the latest in ergonomic design, this transfer product greatly reduces the risk of undue stress and injury to healthcare workers. Measuring a full 22 by 72 inches, the transfer board is X-ray translucent and anti-static.

The Hill-Rom Liftem Mark IV Portable Lift moves patients weighing up to 700 pounds with the push of a button.
The MoveMaster also has the unique feature and benefit of being coated with an ionic silver antimicrobial agent to control levels of bacteria for the life of the board. When coupled with other hygienic measures, this coating provides extra protection to both the staff and patient. The cornerstone to the technology, silver, is a naturally occurring and effective antimicrobial agent in its ionic form. The delivery system is a zeolite carrier that allows a controlled and effective release of the silver ions, on demand, thus inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold and fungus for long periods of time.

The Stretchair® is a multifunctional combination stretcher/chair specifically aimed at simplifying the task and reducing the number of attendants required to efficiently and safely move patients of great bulk and weight to or from various hospital locations for diagnosis, treatment of other procedures. Developed by Stretchair Patient Transfer Systems, Inc. in Largo, FL, these transport products vary in seat width from 19½, to 28 to 32 inches, and in weight capacities from 300 pounds to 1000 pounds. Key features of the Stretchair products include ruggedness and durability, with special attention paid to the unique requirements of obese patients. The advantages and benefits attained from the use of Stretchair products stem from the quality of materials used, manufacturing technology, inspection procedures, and the thorough engineering studies preceding design concepts.

One particular product aimed specifically at the bariatric market is the Crosstown™ 1200 Motorized Stretchair, a self-contained transportation system capable of functioning in both chair and stretcher modes. Featuring a 36-inch wide seat and TEMPUR-MED® pressure management cushions, it provides safe and comfortable transportation for even the largest patients. An integrated handset controller for all powered functions including sit-to-stand lift, chair-to-stretcher articulation, independent elevating swing legs and vertical lift makes patient handling easier for the staff as well.

As the patient population as a whole continues to grow, and the size of patients also maintains a steady increase, new technologies such as the innovative products discussed here could play a vital roll protecting the health and safety of both hospital patients and staff. Fortunately, with the dual focus on safety and efficiency inherent in the design of these new systems, the transition to the OR of tomorrow should be an easy one.
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