Special to UM News
MIAMI, Fla. (June 29, 2016)—If you could design the ideal surgical center, it would probably include state-of-the-art operating rooms, super-safe sterilization processes, and recovery rooms equipped with advanced monitoring equipment so you could go home later that day. Of course, the center would be staffed by experienced physicians, nurses, and other staffers with comfortable family waiting areas and easily accessible parking.
That’s exactly what you will find when UHealth Coral Gables in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center opens its doors later this year. “We are bringing the future of outpatient surgery to our Gables campus,” said Ben Riestra, chief administrative officer. “Our new center will be a model for delivering patient care.”
Thanks to advances in diagnostic imaging and minimally invasive surgery, many patient procedures that once required multi-day hospital stays can now be done on an outpatient basis, said Riestra. To take just one example, liver tumor ablations for cancer patients can now be done more quickly and effectively without a hospital admission—and with far better outcomes.
“Everything about our new operating rooms is designed for patient safety and the support of our surgical teams,” Riestra said, noting that clinicians and nurses provided key input into the workflow patterns in the ORs and recovery areas. The Gables center will have six general operating rooms, two rooms for special procedures (interventional radiology and interventional CT) and three GI/endoscopy suites. All are designed with modular stainless steel walls for best practice infection prevention and control.
After their procedures, most surgery patients will first go to the phase I post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), and then be moved to the phase II unit to complete their recovery. The center will have 36 pre-op and post-op beds, all equipped with the latest patient monitoring equipment. “Having the same equipment in all 36 bays gives us the flexibility to adjust how we use those recovery beds during the day,” Riestra said.
Infection control is a top priority at any surgical facility. The new UHealth center will have a three-zone central area to wash, pack, and sterilize all surgical instruments. A red line on the floor shows patients, physicians, and staffers when they pass into the sterile OR environment.
“Today, we see a large volume of inpatient and outpatient surgery cases on the medical school campus,” Riestra said. “Opening the new Gables center will allow us to perform more procedures on an outpatient basis so we can use our current facilities for more acute cases. It will also add to UHealth’s overall capacity and our ability to serve patients in an easily accessible setting.”
UHealth Coral Gables in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center is a five-story, 206,000-square-foot diagnostic and treatment center located at Ponce de Leon and Dickinson, just south of the BankUnited Center. In addition to outpatient surgery services, the new center will be home to the UHealth Sports and Performance Institute, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute satellite locations, as well as medical offices, a healthy cafe, free parking, and a host of patient- and family-friendly amenities. While the facility can provide care and 23-hour observation as needed, it will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday for patients and families.