The recent advances in surgical technology and techniques, based in no small part on the continuing development of new and innovative imaging systems, medical devices and case management systems, have greatly improved patient care by reducing procedure and recovery time, as well as increasing patient and staff safety. Unfortunately, these same advances in surgery put an added strain on the surgical staff and the operating room in general. The accommodation of the myriad of new surgical systems and devices, the every growing number of patients and the need for more rapid turnaround times in the OR can pose a significant challenge to any healthcare facility.

The Harmony Integrated OR video system from STERIS Corporation can be used for a broad range of procedures
The ever growing amount of hardware and software required by a modern OR needs to be effectively and efficiently controlled and assimilated into each facility’s individual workflow routines in order for any of new technology’s benefits to be truly recognized. This is where integration technology comes into play. Among the latest and greatest advancements currently available to the OR are a new generation of innovative systems designed to integrate and streamline control of all OR equipment in a single platform. These OR Integration Systems can help relieve the strain on the OR staff and help facilities to improve patient care by improving overall efficiency.

STERIS Corporation (Mentor, OH) offers a full video integrated digital OR infrastructure. This includes equipment management systems which allow endoscopic and other video equipment to be up off the floor and easily positioned where needed, premium surgical lights and suspension systems, surgical camera systems and the Harmony® Integrated OR, a fully integrated digital operating room.

The Harmony Integrated OR provides intuitive video routing in a simple process that puts endoscopic, PACS, vital signs, C-arm or other data and images onto flat screen monitors around the room, around the hospital or across the country. Additionally, Harmony integrates music systems like iPod and satellite radio, environmental controls and digital recording in the surgical suite.

The Harmony Integrated OR video system can be used for a broad range of procedures. As flexibility is critical in the modern OR, STERIS designed their system with and open architecture platform, so that it is compatible with every leading video technology and endoscopic vendor. In addition, STERIS also customizes each system with the versatility required to match the needs of each hospital now and in the future. To ensure that each facility gets the most out of their integration upgrades, STERIS also offers thorough, knowledgeable support throughout the planning, design and implementation process.

KARL STORZ’s OR1 Integrated Suites provide intuitive control of all OR systems and critical functions

KARL STORZ (Culver City, CA), a global leader in medical endoscopy and solutions for operating room integration, offers the innovative OR1®. The OR1 provides intuitive control of all OR systems and critical functions via touch screen for fast, easy and safe control directly from inside the sterile area or nurse’s workstation. OR1 helps reduce setup and changeover times because device settings can be freely defined and activated as needed. Control is also provided for a full range of devices and peripheral systems made by other manufacturers, such as the OR table and room lighting. The modular design of the OR1 system allows OR integration solutions to be developed to meet the specific needs of hospitals of any size, from rural community medical centers to larger teaching facilities.

OR1 Integrated Suites can be used for both minimally invasive and conventional open surgical procedures. Additionally, OR1 hybrid suites for specialties are designed to meet the specific needs of today’s hybrid suite concept. OR1 Hybrid Cardiac suites, for example, provide the flexibility to perform a wider range of surgeries, including vascular procedures, traditional open-heart surgery and cath lab applications. In addition, KARL STORZ recently completed the first successful all-digital integration of fully functional OR1 suites combined with intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) capabilities in two separate facilities. These iMRI-enabled suites give surgeons the ability to perform MRI scans of a patient’s brain at critical points during cranial surgery.

The Olympus Integration System can be utilized in any specialty, including the GI suite
Olympus (Center Valley, PA) classifies integration as having five distinct areas of concentration; these are the HD Universal Platform at the core, A/V routing, medical device control, surgical documentation and equipment management solutions. Olympus provides all of these services utilizing skilled employees throughout the design, installation, training and service processes to ensure that quality is always held to the highest standard.

The Olympus Integration System is 100 percent open architecture, however the core imaging system and capabilities are exclusive to Olympus. The HD Universal Platform can be utilized in any specialty, including the GI suite, and even extends to new and emerging procedures such as NOTES. This concept allows facilities to make less investment in camera technology and facilitates more efficient utilization of capital equipment. This platform also supports NBI (Narrow Band Imaging) which is routable throughout the Olympus integration system. NBI allows for better visualization of the mucosa.

From simple routing of surgical images and data to real time collaborative communications the Olympus system can employ virtually any type of technology available. Working with integration partners, Olympus can incorporate the OR into the data process flow of the hospital to improve billing. Olympus systems allow a surgeon and pathologist to communicate in real time to solve problems and enhance convenience for the staff. Full complementary control of medical devices, A/V, environment, lighting and more is provided from a single touch panel.

CompView Medical’s NuBOOM Visualization & Equipment Management System with DOCS revolutionizes the conversion of a standard OR into a digitally integrated OR
Smith & Nephew’s (Andover, MA) Digital Operating Rooms (Digital OR) are custom-designed and built on a scalable technology to help medical facilities of any size improve efficiency, cost effectiveness and patient care. The Digital OR can integrate operating room systems, the hospital’s information system and the Internet, enabling medical staff to access patient information, consult with other specialists or document procedures.

The driving force behind the Digital OR is the CONDOR™ Control System, which functions as a surgical command center. Using voice control or a wireless touch panel, medical staff can use CONDOR to control all OR systems and devices quickly and easily. The CONDOR system also enables the staff to manipulate the surgical environment, including lighting, temperature and even music. It enables real-time streaming audio and video of procedures via the Internet to classrooms or offices of consulting surgeons in other locations. And, as with all of Smith & Nephew’s Digital OR components, CONDOR is modular and can be configured to work with a hospital’s existing information system.

For use in the Digital OR, Smith & Nephew offers the 660 HD Image Management System, which allows surgeons to digitally capture, edit, export and print endoscopic surgical images and patient information. They also provide their Integration Broker software, which ties all of the Digital OR systems with a hospital’s Information System. This software can save a medical facility time and the risk of costly errors by eliminating unnecessary manual data entry in the OR.

CompView Medical (Beaverton, OR) provides innovative integration platforms specifically designed to revolutionize the conversion of standard ORs to digitally integrated ORs, allowing them to support a broad spectrum of minimally invasive surgical and special procedures. The NuBOOM® Visualization and Equipment Management System provides space to efficiently house existing medical and video equipment. Its two pedestal-mounted booms are configurable to support up to four 19-inch or 23-inch high definition, widescreen monitors to provide the surgical team with highly flexible monitor positioning and a larger, more ergonomic viewing area.

TRUMPF Medical Systems offers the BrainLAB BrainSUITE iCT integrated OR suite
CompView’s DOCS® Digital Operating Control System is a simple, intuitive touch panel solution that allows surgeons, perioperative and special procedures teams to view information and route images precisely where they are needed. Its open architecture design supports multiple inputs, including endoscopic and/or other video, fluoroscopy, PACS, RIS, EMR and the Internet. Digital video recorder, digital capture, digital and DICOM printer, audio and videoconferencing capabilities for collaboration and medical training are available options. The DOCS system is installed as an integral component of a NuBOOM implementation, however, it can also be installed as a stand-alone control system to complement existing equipment management system infrastructure.

TRUMPF Medical Solutions (Charleston, SC) is currently marketing an innovative integrated OR suite built on a collaboration of the latest imaging technologies. The BrainLAB BrainSUITE® iCT is an integrated intraoperative 3D imaging solution combining technologies from TRUMPF, BrainLAB and Siemens. The system integrates BrainLAB’s VectorVision® sky navigation system, the radiolucent TRUMPF JUPITER surgical table and the Siemens SOMATOM CT scanning system.

Unique BrainLAB technology makes it possible to automatically register images taken intraoperatively. In addition, the ability of BrainSUITE iCT to use pre-op images and intraoperative images to guide the surgical team is key to providing immediate quality control and contributing to better patient outcomes by allowing for more precise, less invasive surgery. With excellent bone to soft tissue contrast, versatile patient positioning possibilities and Siemens extra large scanner gantry bore, the BrainSUITE iCT is ideal for a wide variety of surgical disciplines, including neuro, spinal, ENT, head & neck, CMF, trauma, orthopedic and vascular surgery.

BrainSUITE iCT also includes the BrainSUITE NET OR data management and integration platform. Harnessing the power of the digital age, BrainSUITE NET connects the OR directly to the hospital’s flow of patient information. By enabling surgeons to quickly access crucial patient data directly from the OR, BrainSUITE NET helps to enhance decision-making and save valuable time.

Skytron’s SkyVision Advanced Video, Data and Communications Control System provides a flexible open architecture design and vendor neutral solutions
Skytron (Grand Rapids, MI) offers the SkyVision Advanced Video, Data and Communications Control System, which is powered by GDM. This system provides a flexible open architecture design and vendor neutral solutions with easy to use software that offers simple touch screen control over multi-source video and data. SkyVision delivers integration and control over MIS images, in-room and surgical light cameras, PACS, C-Arm, microscopes, H.I.S, Internet, Radiology, medical records, teleconferencing and more.

SkyVision is designed so that all of the video, data and communication sources are displayed on the touch screen as well as the display monitors. As part of the ease-of-use, the circulating nurse can route images in as little as two touches at the control screen. The live preview screen and visual feedback display eliminate confusion, making the process simple and comprehensive. Routing these images seamlessly to the display monitors reduces the need for the surgical staff to leave the patient to look at images.

These are just a few of the latest offerings currently available to improve efficiency and workflow in the surgical suite; and as surgical systems continue to advance and improve, OR integration systems such as these will only become more important to the modern OR.