Hybrid operating rooms call for big bucks

More hospitals are investing in high-tech operating rooms (OR) to improve patient care. Called hybrid rooms, the trendy operating rooms combine equipment for the traditional open-heart procedure with new minimally invasive surgery for heart valves, abnormal heart beats, and stents, among other procedures.

Although there are currently fewer than 100 hospitals that house hybrid rooms, the use of hybrid rooms is expected to rise 15 or more percent each year, according to ECRI Institute, reports the Detroit Free Press. Among the takers are St. John Hospital, the University of Michigan, the Detroit Medical Center, Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, and Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, all in Michigan.

Because patients do not have to be moved from one OR to another, the hybrid room can produce benefits of reducing infections and speeding up recovery.

However, the hybrid rooms come with a price tag. Estimated at anywhere from $1.5 to $9 million, the hybrid rooms can be a challenge in raising funds. St. John Hospital and Medical Center, for example, received a $5 million donation that helped fund the hybrid room.

"It would not make any sense for Henry Ford to put these in all of its hospitals," said cardiology chief Dr. Douglas Weaver in the article.

For more information:
- read the Detroit Free Press article