STERIS Technology Improves Jackson Hospital Surgery Room

The article below was published in the June 30, 2013 edition of the Montgomery Advertiser. HHB Engineers served as the Mechanical and Plumbing engineer for the design and construction of the renovated Operating Room. This included state-of-the art air curtain sytle air distribution system, medical gases including new CO2 manifold canister system.


June 30, 2013

STERIS technology improves Jackson Hospital surgery room

By Paul Sullivan
Special to the Advertiser

Surgeons working in Jackson Hospital’s newest operating room are receiving information quicker and without leaving the patient’s side.

A partnership between the hospital and STERIS Corporation led to the renovation of an existing second floor operating room into what nurses led by Deborah Cooksey, RN and director of perioperative services, view as a blessing to the hospital staff and patients.

The 600-square-foot surgery facility has become the new home to many laparoscopic procedures this spring and now also is used for many weekend trauma cases, said Pam Sasser, assistant director of surgical services at Jackson. The laparoscopic surgeries offer patients a faster recovery, minimal scarring and less pain.

The innovative surgical suite was designed exclusively for Jackson and also is being used as a working showcase for some of the latest STERIS technology, Cooksey said. STERIS, which operates a facility in Gunter Industrial Park, is a leading provider of infection prevention and surgical products and services for the health care industry, as well as pharmaceutical and research markets.

The room features a touchscreen control panel from which nurses such as Patsy Hill, RN and operating room team leader, can manage several movable booms that arch down from the ceiling.

The booms are a surgery game changer, Hill and Cooksey said. Having equipment that can be moved and mounted on the ceiling eliminates all the equipment and accompanying cords that normally litter the floor and cause a hazard or distraction during surgery. The greater freedom of movement improves working conditions and efficiency during procedures, Cooksey said.

Also, the booms can be moved directly to where the doctor wants them, which negates the need to walk away from the operating table during surgery to a monitor to see an important X-ray or other medical information. The doctors also are getting better views of surgeries as they happen, thanks to the booms that contain upgraded video screens.

Hill and others are able to control videos, medical images and other content that appears on the three HD monitors. A surgical lighting system improves visibility and reduces glare. And gases such as CO2 that are needed for surgeries are piped in through the ceiling, which is an advantage over bringing in cumbersome tanks, Sasser said.

The newest general surgical table can be easily moved by one person and also is part of the STERIS package, which has drawn praise from the Jackson staff.

Cooksey explained more about the benefits of the advanced operating room:

How did the initiative come about?

We had an opportunity to tour the local STERIS plant, and while I was out there Mac McBride, director of Montgomery operations for STERIS, mentioned that they were looking for a place to showcase their equipment. STERIS agreed to renovate the room in exchange for being able to show their latest equipment. It also was an investment on our part. It’s turning out to be a fabulous resource for us.

What are some of the other pluses of the room?

The bigger flat-screen TV on the wall allows for same-time viewing of X-rays, and we can pull up CAT scans and see clearly on monitors from the table side instead of having to go to one or more monitors. The room is very functional. We have better mobility, and we can respond quicker to a surgeon’s request.

What was your biggest challenge during the process of getting the room up and running?

The nurses had to know how to run the equipment, and doctors and radiology. Training them was an issue. Like everything new, we had to have time to get it going, and we had to adjust the equipment after we used the room. Also, we gutted an existing surgery room, which was then lost for a time, which was also a challenge.

What is the plus of not having surgical gases brought in to surgery in tanks?

One is that we don’t have to worry about refills with unlimited gas piped in from the ceiling. Also, we had to take the time to hook and unhook tanks.

Do you plan to have more such rooms?

We will. It was expensive, and we had equipment to buy. STERIS remodeled the room, and it’s a beautiful room. We were able to get in on the design and even pick colors.

What kind of surgeries can be performed in the room?

It can adapt to most any kind of surgery.