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Enhancing surgical workflow in the OR at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

One of the world’s most technologically advanced children’s hospitals, Alder Hey in the Park has partnered with Sony to build a powerful and easy to use hospital-wide IP video network. High Definition surgical footage can be patched instantly to screens in thirteen integrated Operating Rooms – or shared with surgeons and students anywhere on campus.

Enhancing surgical workflow in the OR at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Caring for young people and their families

In moving to a brand-new purpose built site, Alder Hey in the Park has continued to strengthen its reputation as one of the world’s most technologically advanced teaching hospitals focused exclusively on the treatment and care of children. The £300m facility in England’s North West cares for 275,000 young people and their families every year.

Natural daylight, relaxing open spaces and child-friendly design are all hallmarks of Europe’s only hospital in a park that cares for patients and their families from the UK and overseas.

In this uniquely inspiring space, Sony’s Healthcare Solutions team has collaborated with clinical staff at Alder Hey in the Park to push the boundaries of applying cutting-edge networked AV technologies. Their aim: to improve surgical workflow, enhance student teaching, streamline use of hospital resources and ensure improved outcomes for young patients.

Taking the integrated OR to the next level

Picture taken on a tour of the OR

Every modern Operating Room is crammed with technology to help surgeons, anaesthetists and support staff perform their tasks with optimum efficiency. But this additional complexity is not without its challenges. Multiple modalities – including endoscopic, laparoscopic, X-ray and more – mean more video sources and more screens. And every time an extra piece of equipment is introduced, it presents an extra infection risk and creates a less ergonomic environment.

There was an obvious opportunity to take the trend towards ‘integrated’ Operating Rooms to the next level. The team wrote an ambitious brief to commission full theatre integration at Alder Hey. Engaging with Sony Healthcare, the hospital resolved to create a powerful new IP-based network based solution that would streamline the sharing, storage and management of video data captured in surgery.

A hospital-wide video over IP solution

The slimline LMD-2760MD with OptiContrast™ technology

Working closely with Alder Hey’s IT department and other selected technology partners, Sony has proposed and implemented a hospital-wide IP networking solution, allowing digital data from any source to be routed instantly to any destination. “This isn’t about video cables any more”, notes Rolf Meßmer, Strategic Marketing Manager AV/IT Healthcare Solutions at Sony Europe. “Every increase in bandwidth for clinical and diagnostic information ramps up data requirements, while introducing different standards, formats and codecs. Today it’s all about moving data around the network over IP.”

IP encoder boxes in each of thirteen integrated Operating Rooms can be attached to any imaging device – including video feeds from visible light and other modalities like interventional radiology. Live video signals from an endoscope, room camera or other source can be displayed on LMD-2760MD 27” LCD medical monitors and wall-mounted BRAVIA Professional Display that feature in each OR. Equally, video can be patched instantly to monitor screens in another OR, consulting room or doctor’s office. Routing of signals across the hospital campus network is handled by NUCLeUS, the smart video-over-IP platform that’s driven by surgeons in each theatre via an intuitive touchscreen interface.

Boosting workflow efficiency

...we realised a networked approach was much more powerful. Everything’s so much cleaner to have data flowing back to a server and integrated with your electronic patient records.

Dr Iain Hennessey, Clinical Director of Innovation at Alder Hey

Alder Hey’s networked screens play a significant role in optimising workflow in the OR. Being able to move the ceiling-mounted screens precisely into position where the surgeon is working can offer a significant boost in task performance.

Letting everyone in theatre see images from an endoscopic camera or operating light mounted camera also improves team awareness about what’s happening. This can reduce the danger from risks like accidental bleeding that may be missed when surgeons are 100% focused on the task in hand.

In addition, a networked approach gives surgeons the ability to reach out from the OR in the middle of an operation – where the focus is 100% on the patient – to draw on external opinions. Being able to see surgery on a screen elsewhere in the hospital allows the surgeon to interact with other colleagues who have specific knowledge about a rare procedure.

“There have been cameras in ORs for a while”, states Rolf Meßmer. “But today a networked approach is more powerful and flexible.”

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