February 7, 2023

Session: Designing a sustainable model for your future OR

Editor’s Note

Michelle Larson, DNP, RN, NE-BC, Nurse Administrator at Mayo Clinic, posed this quote from Dr Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic, when opening the session, “Designing a Sustainable Model for your Future OR Today”: “If we excel in anything, it is in our capacity for translating idealism into action.” 

“We are always being pushed to think, 'what would be best for our patients'?” said Larson alongside Jeff Robinson, MSN, RN, NE-BC, OR Nurse Manager, Mayo Clinic. To answer that question, Larson and Robinson delved into how to strategize and design new ORs in order to meet the needs of future cases. 

“We have this significant growth that we are trying to accommodate at Mayo Clinic,” noted Larson, as she discussed the best strategies to use when requesting expansion and innovation in the OR. It is necessary to consider certain points when justifying the need for expanding or building a new space.

The data collected in this process include:

  • Projected and current growth, including how much of the space is being utilized
  • Upcoming trends and practice decisions
  • Needs in specific areas, determining who will be using the new space.

In the second portion in the session, Robinson discussed the key points taken into consideration when factoring in the design of a new space, as seen below.

When building out a new OR space, you must think about what the workflow will look like, how the space will be utilized, and what technology is needed. Robinson noted that technology is very difficult to forecast. “10 years ago, we didn’t know some of this technology existed,” he said, adding that they are now continuously “finding ways to connect it to our OR.” He emphasized that forecasting how this technology will fit into the space in the future is a very important aspect of being sustainable in this process.


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