Standards of Care
The concept of “standard of care” stands for the operational benchmark by which physicians, the public and the legal system care for patients, establish expectations and settle disputes. These are often codified in state health department regulations, hospital policies and scientific publications. Setting a new standard of care allows the level of patient care to improve in a uniform manner.
As is often the case with codified standards, inertia and time tend to keep them in place despite improvements that develop in the interim. Many state codes that survive today were written more than 20 years ago and are obviously outmoded.
In some states, code mandates that an X-ray light box be present on the operating room wall. When the code was written, it ensured that physicians would be able to review a patient’s X-rays on site at the time of surgery rather than having to depend on memory. Some of these codes were written in the 1960’s; in recent years it has become apparent that X-ray boxes are not the optimal way to present radiological information. This is especially evident as X-rays can be put up backwards and instances of wrong-sided surgery have occurred with increasing frequency.
In the meantime, improvements in technology have allowed the surgeon to see all of a patient’s X-rays on large-screen monitors in better detail over a hospital network. X-rays can never be presented in the wrong orientation and instances of wrong-sided surgeries will become less and less frequent.
In this case, setting a new standard of care would include the removal of X-ray boxes in operating rooms, replacing them with computerized network displays from the radiology information system.
Creating a new standard of care allows medicine to take a salutatory leap forward.
Optimus has introduced the concept of “Safety by Design” into the operating room environment, establishing methods for “automatic excellence” similar to those utilized in the aeronautics industry.
In a standard OR, equipment hangs from the ceiling and crowds the available floor space, creating ever-increasing hazards for patients and staff as the trend toward introducing a rising number of more complex technologies into the operating room continues. Storing crucial supplies outside the operating room without a computerized inventory system also increases risk.
Optimus’ revolutionary integrated design eliminates OR clutter and creates a defined area of focus in the center of the room. The Integrated Surgical Environment (ISE™) incorporates RFID technology into the pass-through cabinet system to monitor status of crucial supplies with an automated system which is updated every 20 seconds. Wires, hoses, rolling waste receptacles, hanging booms and towers, sharp corners, porous germ-absorbing materials etc have all been eliminated.
A new standard of cleanliness means that traditional “mop and bucket” maintenance of surgical areas will be rendered obsolete. A fourfold strategy for establishing sterility is employed in the Optimus ISE™:
Ozone The ISE™ employs the first fully contained ozone generation / deactivation system for use in hospital settings. Once a week, complete room sterilization of all surfaces is achieved, creating the first functionally sterile operating room.
Solid Surfaces/Titanium Dioxide/UV light Non-porous materials replace standard plasterboard/paint surfaces and flooring material. Proprietary incorporation of TiO2 into the material allows for continuous sterilization of the walls, ceilings and floor surfaces in the presence of low-level ultraviolet light.
UV Sink Traps The Optimus “UV2 Max” is a replacement for the standard sink trap. It is thought that hospital sink traps are a primary source for harboring hospital-based resistant germs. The UV sink trap system eliminates this problem by allowing continuous sterilization of retained fluids in sink traps 24/7.
“Floor Genie” Robotic floor cleaner, with disposable cartridges for complete isolation of contaminated materials, is deployed after an operation has been completed, while the nursing staff is preparing the room for the next procedure.
The Optimus ISE™ has simplified the operating room with the intent to reduce medical errors, improve operational efficiencies and create an environment of calm and confidence. Efficiency has been achieved through:
Integration Optimus has developed the first fully integrated system for operating room control. Medical staff has grown so accustomed to the inefficiencies of the hospital that they can’t even imagine a single centralized control system for the myriad of devices found in the modern operating room. The Optimus “optOR” software package enables personnel to simply control devices, even if they are unfamiliar with them.
All aspects of the Optimus operating room can be controlled from one handheld wireless device, including: adjusting the operating table, positioning lighting and even changing the color of the walls. As part of the Optimus “safety by design” strategy, personnel no longer need to enter the area of focus to manually control devices located within the sterile area such as the operating table, cautery devices etc.
Multifunctionality Each component of the Optimus ISE™ – the walls, the floor, the ceiling, and the operating table – is multifunctional. For instance:
- The operating table heats the patient, detects metallic devices, and carries its own source for wires and hoses (eliminating wires and hoses from the floor), the standard patient heating unit, and the need for an X-ray machine to detect retained devices or sponges.
- Walls contain the garbage disposal units, visual monitors, ambient lightning and auto-sterilization components, eliminating multiple duplicated smaller monitors on the floor and ceiling, rolling garbage receptacles on the floor, hanging lights and cleaning devices.
- Floors contain the floor pods, are auto-sterilized, are cleaned by the “Floor Genie” and have rounded corners, thus eliminating wires and hoses, inaccessible cleaning areas and need for cleaning personnel.
As a result of these initiatives there will be fewer surgical site infections and medical errors, along with a greater sense of patient comfort. Optimus aims to make these innovations the norm for the next generation of hospitals and operating rooms.