UK Hospital unveils second phase

By Drew Teague

UK’s Chandler Hospital is one step closer to being complete.

Plans were unveiled Wednesday for the next phase of the hospital, focusing on innovative operating rooms.

The new hybrid operating room will be 1,000 square feet, with a control room attached, and will be able to facilitate various types of surgery and procedures. It will mainly focus on cardiothoracic and vascular surgeries, and there will be eight other new operating rooms accompanying the hybrid.

Along with the surgical abilities of the room, new state-of-the-art imaging technology will assist nurses and surgeons in their tasks and help with visibility.

The location of the operating rooms was determined to make sure access from the heliport and the trauma unit were simple so time was not wasted with a patient when seconds matter.

“These operating rooms will be on the second floor and the other thing that this will accomplish is that these operating rooms will be right above the trauma unit and the emergency room, and lines up with the heliport,” UK health affairs Executive Vice President Dr. Michael Karpf said.

In the planning stages of this phase of development, those involved thought it would be good to physically see the operating room before it was built.

“Doctor’s are more used to operating in a defined space,” Dr. Joseph Zwischenberger, UK HealthCare surgeon-in-chief, said. “In order to be able to design these O.R.’s we made Styrofoam models. When I say models I mean a life size O.R., completely built out.”

With the Styrofoam model, doctors and others had a chance to see what it will be like and fix problems.

“We had everyone that is going to work in that room come in and walk around and act as if they were going to do a procedure, and go through the motions,” Zwischenberger said. “You won’t believe how many times we’ve banged into cabinets or bumped up against a table that we thought on a blueprint looked perfect.”

With the hospital getting closer to being complete, Karpf says the hospital has been bringing in more people, and sees that to continue as the operating room phase begins and gets completed.

“At this point in time we get increasing number of patients from West Virginia, from southern Ohio and eastern Tennessee,” Karpf said. “We are actually keeping more people in the Commonwealth and bring people into the Commonwealth. We’re an importer of patients.”

Dr. Bernard Boulanger, UK HealthCare surgical medical director, says the new hybrid rooms will be better than initially thought as surgeons work and become accustomed with all the functions available to them.

“I think surgeons will learn that they can provide better care for their patients by using this room for procedures that we may not even perceive now,” Boulanger said.

The new operating rooms are scheduled to open in the fall of this year.