The 5 Biggest Trends in Operating Rooms (2020)

Technology has reshaped our lives in several ways, with the healthcare industry no stranger to disruption.

For example, minimally invasive or non-invasive surgeries would not have been possible without the extensive use of technology and new tools. Let’s discover more about the latest trends in operating room.

New operating room trends

1. Hybrid Operating Rooms

A hybrid OR is a surgical space designed with the latest medical imaging and interventional devices. The combination of powerful imaging devices makes it possible to carry out complex procedures, many of them minimally-invasive or non-invasive.

New imaging devices, including CT scanners, MRI scanners, and fixed C arms enable the visualization of microscopic body parts such as thin blood vessels in muscle tissue. State of the art equipment allows for complex procedures such as image-guided surgery operations.

The accuracy of non-invasive procedures stems from evidence-based surgery concepts. The devices collect data in the form of intraoperative scans, which helps guide the surgical team’s decisions.

2. Voice Recognition OR programs

High tech devices and monitors in the OR used to be touch-controlled, but that is quickly changing too. Most hospitals have moved to acquire voice-controlled surgical technology that works more efficiently – and it’s also a safety improvement trend.

OR’s need to be sterile spaces free of pathogens that otherwise may imperil patient safety. Controlling devices without touching them helps to reduce the risk of contamination.  The surgical team can use speech to control lights, for instance, or zoom in and out on the imaging devices, and change the content on display.

Speech recognition in OR devices improves patient function because the surgeon is free to concentrate on the task at hand. Your surgical team’s workflow is systematized, and nurses can focus on essential things in the theater room.

3. Robotic surgery

Automation has taken over most operating rooms today, and hospital managers can’t afford to ignore this trend.  The adoption of smart devices in the theater room can help improve workflows. Robot-assisted surgeries are popular in prostatectomies, gynecologic surgical procedures, and cardiac valve repair.

Robotics helps to improve precision in minimally invasive surgeries. The result is less pain for the patient, minimal loss of blood, and faster healing time.

The future for this trend is uncertain, though, as there is still controversy over the safety, expenses, and the training needed for robot-assisted procedures.

4. Smart lighting design

The introduction of a wide array of medical imaging devices in the operating room poses a challenge with standard lighting designs. There is the risk of glare and eye strain for the surgical team. Similarly, there can be reduced visual acuity in the event of too much reflectance in a hybrid OR setting.

Surgical lighting design has now shifted to dimmable mobile fixtures that can be moved in and out of the operating space. Modern OR lights also come with added features such as built-in cameras with video recording abilities.

Where a third light is needed, most surgeons switch to surgical headlights. They have advantages such as lower heat emission, easy mobility, and hands-free adjustment.

5. Internet-connected devices

The internet is now a common feature in the operating room in order to support the aforementioned technologies. Faster internet connections have been introduced not only for video conferencing and teleconsultation but also for data exchange between devices.

The result is an improvement in collaboration and better patient outcomes. Standardized IP networks also help to eliminate cable entanglements and enable faster connection of medical devices.

Technological advancements have had several positive changes in the operating room, including increased surgical accuracy, safety, and better patient outcomes. Adopting these trends can also improve the overall performance of your healthcare organization.