Safety

Creating the smarter, safer operating room

Hospital Safety Insider, October 8, 2015

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A team of researchers from Clemson University is hoping to answer the question of whether it's possible to design the perfect operating room, according to a report from Outpatient Surgery magazine.

The team, led by an architecture professor at the university, recently received a $1 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to create a prototype of a better hospital operating room. The research team-which includes a mix of architects, design researchers, engineers, anesthesiologists, nurses, and surgeons-will study how the design of a room impacts everything from infections to trips and falls.

Current rooms tend to be cramped, and also unsafe, thanks to unfriendly ergonomic designs and a high number of distractions, which can lead to surgical errors. According to the report, the team will also attempt to tackle surgical site infections by studying how evidence-based design concepts could potentially reduce the infection rate in patients.

Researchers are working in a learning lab in Charleston, South Carolina, that is funded by the grant. There, they will test and refine design ideas, eventually building a prototype of the ideal OR. This prototype design will ultimately be implemented at the Medical University of South Carolina's new ambulatory surgery center in Charleston, according to the report.

Read more here.



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