Operating Room of the Future
The Operating Room of the Future (ORF) project, pioneered by the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT), is a combined operating room / proof of concept project designed to trial new technologies and a new way of approaching anesthesia and operative workflow in a real setting. The mission in the room is at least threefold:
- Increase OR productivity by, for example, running OR turnover and peri-anesthetic processes in parallel rather than sequentially.
- Improve the effectiveness of anesthesia personnel by creating a new, perioperative nursing position and including a self-contained recovery area in the unit.
- Work near the limits of the latest new operative and anesthesia equipment technology, for the purpose of evaluating such equipment for more general deployment.
The ORF is actually an OR suite, consisting of a working induction room, a medium sized operating room, and a dedicated, in-suite recovery bay. The recovery bay and the induction area are staffed by a perioperative nurse who assists the OR nursing staff and the anesthesia team with the care of perioperative patients. At any given time, there may be up to three patients in the ORF suite in various stages of the operative process.
The ORF is a multi-specialty operating room devoted to endoscopic surgery that cuts across many services. The surgical clientele includes a small group of endoscopic surgeons performing advanced laparoscopic cases. Increasingly complex procedures are being performed on a sicker patient population. For example, a patient with pulmonary hypertension status post lung transplant recently underwent laparoscopic right colectomy in the ORF. The intended focus of the OR is laparoscopic surgery, but in practice, any case can be performed in the room.
A large part of this effort to improve perioperative workflow to maximize productivity has involved the development and introduction of new technologies for patient location and tracking. The success of the project has brought national and international attention to CIMIT, Mass General and the Operating Room of the Future Project at academic meetings, in government and Department of Defense venues, and in the lay press.