por Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | April 18, 2013
There's no question that hybrid ORs are a huge investment for hospitals. But according to a new report issued by the nonprofit ECRI Institute, which advises facilities on health care safety and technology, this is not stopping hospitals, large and small, from looking into building these hybrid rooms.
ECRI sees the trend growing from many different angles. Not only have they witnessed the mounting clinical advancements in minimally invasive procedures, particularly endovascular surgery, as one aspect of the trend, but they have also seen significant interest from hospitals in capital purchases.
"Our capital advisory services see the imaging systems to support the hybrid OR as one of their top requests, so that's providing validation for what we're seeing as far as the emergence of these clinical procedures," Thomas Skorup, FACHE, vice president of applied solutions at ECRI Institute, told DOTmed News.
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From his day-to-day perspective, Skorup and his group at ECRI Institute provide on-site technical assistance to hospitals. In the last few years he said they have worked with both academic medical centers and community hospitals to build these hybrid systems.
"There's a high level of validation that this is something on the move based on us commonly seeing a trend but also seeing a validation of that trend," he said.
The trend is driven by the rise of minimally invasive procedures that require both real-time imaging as well as OR capability in case anything goes wrong. Procedures such as TAVR, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement, one of the more well-known minimally invasive procedures, are already performed in roughly 200 hospitals nationwide. Down the road, mitral valve repairs, as well as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (Triple A) graft stents, while not new, will be targeted for this room.
"I do think there is an undercurrent of belief that these procedures, once they become more proven, could displace some more traditional surgical procedures over time," said Skorup. Community hospitals and large academic medical centers with heart programs are willing to invest, because if they don't, they fear they will be left out of an important service line, according to Skorup.
Cost and size considerations
According to the report, on average, hybrid ORs cost about $3 to $4 million — surely not an investment to be taken lightly.
Costs can be higher based on what is included in the room. For example, an OR integration system for managing the images can increase the price tag, according to Skorup.