Are you looking to renovate an operating room at your facility? Are you not sure where to start, or do you have some concerns about either the process or the end results of a renovation effort? Brett Estabrook, Director of Design & Development, BERCHTOLD Corporation, answered a handful of questions about OR renovation during a recent conversation with Surgical Products. Estabrook and others will provide a more in-depth analysis on this topic during an upcoming Surgical Products webinar entitled “Planning Your OR Renovation In 5 Easy Steps." Join us on Thursday as a panel of experts and clinicians outlines the process of renovating a surgical suite that will maintain peak productivity while minimizing disruption and bringing an OR back on line in less than two weeks.

SP: What are some factors that hold hospitals back from undertaking an OR renovation effort?

Brett Estabrook, Director of Design & Development, BERCHTOLD Corporation: Often the hospital doesn’t feel that they will be able to deal with the operating room being shut down, as it directly relates to revenue production and scheduling conflicts. Other facilities may think that the capital outlay required to do the renovation is too much, or that the infection control challenges that may arise are too much to overcome. I have also spoken with hospital leaders that are simply resistant to change, and they don’t see any benefit to taking a step forward from a technological perspective.

SP: How can hospital facilities overcome some of these factors?

Estabrook: The best way to overcome the factors related to revenue and downtime is to meet with a contractor/company that is focused on healthcare construction. More specifically, that means the operating room. By putting a solid plan for the design of the new room and the execution of the work on the room in place, most of the factors that cause a facility to hesitate undertaking an OR renovation project disappear.

SP: What are some common mistakes you see from hospitals that undertake renovation efforts that fall short of expectations?

Estabrook: The most common problem is the General Contractors and Sub-Contractors focus on work outside of the perioperative services arena. There are a number of “unknowns’ that pop up during the process that are best handled by a company that makes the Operating Room its core competency. Another factor that can prove to be problematic involves the hospital trying to “reuse” as much as possible in order to save money. This usually leads to a room that wasn’t fully renovated, which has a negative effect on the overall satisfaction with the room design upon completion.

SP: What are some of the key benefits your customers see as a result of a well-planned and well-executed OR renovation effort?

Estabrook: My experience has shown that there are three major benefits. The number one benefit is a technologically up-to-date room that is safer and much more efficient. This leads to the ability to do more cases per room, per day, which leads to increased revenue production. This can pay for the renovation pretty quickly. Another benefit that is directly related to the number one benefit is the ability for the hospital to go out and recruit talented surgeons and staff, which also leads to increased revenue production. Last, but certainly not least, a well-planned renovation will mean that a room is shut down for a minimal amount of time, and it is back up and running very quickly. Clearly, revenue production is the key here.

SP: Why is it so important for hospitals to evaluate if a renovation project is right for them?

Estabrook: The hospital needs to evaluate where it is now with the physical characteristics of the facility, and where it feels it needs to be in order to stay competitive and properly provide for its patients. This is going to determine how well it can recruit and retain talented surgeons and staff. A good example would be a hospital that is looking to build a cardiovascular or neuro-hybrid room. In most cases, the decision to build a new room like this really pays off as it brings more patients, possibly new physicians, and attention within the community to the facility. This leads to higher revenue production and, most importantly, better care for the patient.

Click here for more information and to register for Thursday's webinar.