Faculty from Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) formed a research team to create a mockup operating room (OR) at the Clemson Design Center in Charleston. The prototype was created after three years of research on OR functionality, best practices, modernized OR’s and input from medical professionals,
The goal of the joint MUSC-Clemson project – “Realizing Improved Patient Care Through Human-Centered Design in the OR” (RIPCHD.OR) – is to analyze every aspect of an OR and to redesign it with better efficiency and patient care.
“We’ve taken a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to redesigning operating rooms to create an evidence-based design solution that simultaneously tackles problems related to workflow, equipment design and the built environment – major areas that impact patient safety outcomes,” said Anjali Joseph Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing at Clemson University.
The team involved in this project received a four-year, $4 million research grant from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop a safer, more efficient ER. The new design aims to improve staff safety by reducing clutter and surface contamination, and supporting team communication.
Traditionally, OR’s are cramped with a patient bed in the middle and cannot accommodate today’s advanced surgical equipment. Interruptions and distractions can lead to surgical errors and up to 5% of patients who undergo surgery develop a surgical site infection. A more efficient operating room has the potential to make OR’s safer for patients and health care professionals.
This project will cover three areas of research designed to improve patient care and efficiency including: unmasking of anesthesia–related alarms and communications, traffic flow and door openings and an integrated OR suite design.