Futuristic Surgical Suites Open at NewYork-Presbyterian

"Wall of Knowledge" Gives Surgeons Instant Access to an Unprecedented Amount of Vital Information on the Patient and Procedure

Nov 28, 2007


From robotic surgery to catheter-based and endoscopic procedures, advanced technology is increasingly used in the operating room. Now, technology is being used to transform the entire room itself. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is opening "smart" operating rooms that give surgeons and clinicians instant access to an unprecedented amount of vital information about the patient and the procedure.

The newly equipped surgical suites feature an array of flat-panel displays known as the Wall of Knowledge that present up-to-the-second information about the patient (including vital signs and lab results), the procedure (live video from an endoscope, laparoscope or microscope) and the role of each clinician. The system also allows for videoconferencing with remote areas such as surgical pathology, and broadcast of live video to a restricted web site for teaching purposes.

"Surgery in the 21st century requires a complete picture of the patient's current medical status. This new technology will help meet this need, adding new functionality to our high-tech ORs, facilitating teamwork and enhancing patient safety," said Dr. Dennis Fowler, medical director for perioperative services at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the United States Surgical Professor of Clinical Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Everything from big-screen video of the surgical field to its advanced vital-sign monitoring helps the team get the best possible picture of the patient and the procedure."

"Everything in the operating room is undergoing change—from the ceiling lights to the floor design. These rooms permit us to call on high-definition imaging, telestreaming, inputs from inside and out the body—all at the fingertips of the surgeon and assistant surgeon," says Dr. Jeffrey Milsom, a surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the DeCosse Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

The technology also helps track and anticipate events. For instance, it will display a graph showing how the patient 's blood pressure rises and falls over the duration of the procedure. It will also notify the anesthesia team as to when a drug should be administered. However, Dr. Fowler emphasizes that while the technology is an excellent communications tool, it does not substitute for any clinical decision making.

Data collected by the device will also add to research efforts, as physician-scientists study ways to improve surgical treatments.

NewYork-Presbyterian has already implemented the technology in four operating rooms located at its two major medical centers. At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, installations are in orthopedic and neurosurgery; at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, installations are in urology and gastrointestinal surgery.

The technology, known as the Visually Integrated Operating Room, is provided by LiveData Inc., of Cambridge, Mass.

For more information, patients may call 866-NYP-NEWS.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital—based in New York City—is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,242 beds. It provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Allen Pavilion and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the largest and most comprehensive health-care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. It ranks sixth in U.S.News & World Report's guide to "America's Best Hospitals," ranks first on New York magazine's "Best Hospitals" survey, has the greatest number of physicians listed in New York magazine's "Best Doctors" issue, and is included among Solucient's top 15 major teaching hospitals. The Hospital is ranked with among the lowest mortality rates for heart attack and heart failure in the country, according to a 2007 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report card. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Media Contact:

Belinda Mager