Latest News

Ballarat Hospital finds 3D surgery a good fit

Remote monitoring of activities in all the hospital's operating theatres allows senior clinicians to give guidance or diagnostic observations to medical staff, and for resource managers to allocate patients to the most appropriate theatre to maximise efficient use of staff and equipment. 

As part of a major upgrade to the surgical imaging suite at St John of God Ballarat Hospital, management and clinical staff looked for a state-of-the-art system that would support the most efficient use of medical staff and equipment resources associated with all the hospital's operating theatres.

After an extensive search for a new surgical management system—mainly associated with its laproscopic imaging work—the hospital selected ENDOALPHA through Olympus Australia. 

Troy Tregilles, Peri-Operative Services Manager at St John of God Ballarat Hospital, said: “The Olympus solution stood well and truly above all other systems considered.”

ENDOALPHA facilitates image and video management within the OR and procedure room as well as making it available anywhere and at any time through a hospital’s network. The system has the ability to route video feeds to multiple locations such as a lecture room or doctor’s office.

According to Tregilles, extensive consultations took place reviewing the various options available to the hospital. “During the planning process for the renovation we sat down with the project staff at Olympus to decide what we really needed,” he said.

“While the project timeframes were tight,” said Wilson Arango, National Projects Consultant – Systems Integration with Olympus' Medical Instruments Division. 

“We were still able to supply and install the medical equipment control system, video management software and monitor pendants for four operating rooms.” In addition, Olympus also provided a documentation solution for the endoscopy suite.

St John of God Ballarat Hospital (SJGBH) is one of the largest not-for-profit regional hospitals in Australia. Opened in 1915 the hospital has 196 beds and provides an extensive range of health care providing city services to residents living in Ballarat and Western Victoria. The hospital is part of St John of God Health Care which is a leading health care provider, with private hospitals along with home nursing, pathology and social outreach services.

ENDOALPHA features centralised control of all medical and peripheral equipment via a touch screen panel designed to maximise operating room efficiency. The panel provides intuitive control of devices such as electrosurgical generators, insufflator, camera systems, surgical lights and operating table, in addition to music and ambient lighting in the operating theatre and pre-op rooms. 

“Reducing the amount of equipment where a surgeon is working is vital to minimising infection risks,” said Arango. 

“The capability to create doctor specific configurations that allow the setup of multiple pieces equipment with a single touch of a button enables equipment control from outside the sterile field.”

Automation has been enhanced with the development of 'scene selection' which allows settings for pre-, intra-, and post-operative procedure steps to be set up and instigated at the touch of a single button in either the sterile and non-sterile areas of the theatre. 

This helps to standardise procedures, enhance quality standards, decrease turn-around time and improve workflow.

Once a surgeon has been trained, the opportunities for continuing professional development are diminished. 

“We are able to sell the idea that a junior surgeon can show a senior colleague what is occurring during an operation and seek guidance. 

“The senior surgeon could be on hand to advise several junior doctors performing a number of procedures.”

It is important for the hospital to make the most efficient use of all its resources,” Tregilles stated. 

“The streamlining that has taken place has drastically cut down the amount of downtime.”

The St John of God Ballarat Hospital project is still in its implementation phase but the Olympus solution has already reduced the number of extra instruments in the sterile surgical field by two thirds. 

“The equipment is an all-in-one unit whereas we usually need three separate pieces all with their own cabling,” said Tregilles. 

“This has the beneficial 'knock on' effect of reducing the preparation and sterilisation time for an operation.”

Tregilles is wary to use the term “fully integrated” for the operating suite management system he now has. 

“During the 1990s, every supplier was claiming that they could integrate all systems which seemed to only mean they could put in the infrastructure required for every system they supplied no matter what the customer bought.”

SJGBH receives many patients from outside its official catchment area. 

“We regularly have people come in from virtually any part of western Victoria and even over the border into South Australia.” 

In addition to its own private patients, the hospital works closely in conjunction with Ballarat's public hospital and regularly accepts overflow patients for the general wards as well as emergency cases that might require the particular expertise of a surgeon working in one of SJGBH's theatres.

The operating suites at the hospital have also been refitted with LED lights to reduce running costs and stronger, articulated monitor arms for mounting larger screens. 

“There are new high-definition display screens being developed which we will be able to accommodate when they become available,” said Tregilles.

SJGBH has also reduced the number of types of cabling from eight to two. “We found we no longer needed to have almost obsolete types such as VGA and sVideo,” Tregilles added.

SJGBH wanted to “future proof” its systems as much as possible. The basic infrastructure should be suitable for the next seven to ten years but also allows for potential upgrades and expansion with minimal interruption to the work of the medical staff at the hospital.

“The ORs have been enabled with the latest technology in medical control, which will last for long time to come and one theatre also has our latest 3D Imaging platform bringing 3D surgical visualisation to the hospital for the first time,” Arango stated. 

“They have also been equipped with 4K connectivity should SJGBH decide to upgrade their platform to Olympus 4K imaging.

“Plans are in place to increase the size of the hospital in the coming years. 

“We want a system in place where we know that all our staff are trained on the new equipment and comfortable working with their particular part of the surgical management system. 

“We were confident that Olympus would provide the ongoing assistance required to meet our needs." 

Employing more than 10,500 staff, St John of God Health Care is Australia's largest not-for-profit private health care group. In addition, it is the third largest private hospital system in the country and operates the fourth largest pathology service. 

The group returns all funds to the communities it serves by updating and expanding facilities and technology as well as expanding, developing and acquiring new services. 

With more than 120 years of experience in health care, the St John of God Health Care group has earned an excellent reputation for providing quality health services to metropolitan and regional communities across Australia and New Zealand. 

Send this to a friend