By Jim Perry, Prinicpal, Cerami & Associates and Allan Katz, President, VTS Medical Systems

From electronic records to angiography, advanced technology is rapidly changing the way medicine is practiced—not least in the surgical suite. At the vanguard of medical technological innovation are hybrid operating rooms where state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment is permanently integrated into the operating room. Combining technology that’s traditionally housed in the radiology center of a hospital with the operating room is transforming surgical care.

For the first time surgeons can collaborate with pathologists and radiologists during surgery and make assessments using real-time or instantaneous images. It allows surgeons to immediately follow a diagnostic procedure with a therapeutic one. This configuration is also advantageous for surgery patients requiring more than one procedure discipline such as vascular and cardiac during one session.

It’s not surprising, then, that hybrid ORs are often the preferred surgical suite configuration among surgeons. Having a hybrid OR is becoming a standard requirement for leading new and renovated hospitals also because they can serve dual functions. “A big attraction for hospitals is that they’re highly flexible,” said Jeffrey Brand, chief healthcare planner for Perkins Eastman’s New York office, who has designed a number of hybrid ORs. “You can use them as a combined cardiovascular and surgical suite or else swing all the specialized imaging equipment aside and use it as a general operating room.”

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