CRMC first in state with high-tech OR imaging

CRMC is the first hospital in the state to have 4K imaging, used in laparoscopic surgeries to better serve patients. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Charles Huddleston, general surgeon; Sheena Winningham, CST; and Justin Cox, PA; in surgery using the new 4K Stryker technology. To the right is Heather Laws, scrub tech, and Jordan Houston, student in surgery. (Photo/CRMC)

By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor

COOKEVILLE – Entering the operating suites at Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC), the first thing to catch your eye is the wall of video monitors with images as vivid and sharp as the best ones an electronics store has to offer. The operating room’s (OR) new technology delivers 4K pictures, the highest definition available.

“Today about 70% of the surgeries done in the OR are endoscopic, meaning that they are done through small incisions with a camera,” said CRMC Director of Surgical Services David Phillips. “This is the most current technology endoscopically that Stryker has available, that’s out there. It allows us to provide the current best technology available to everyone in the UC.”

Although the upgrade was in the planning for the past two years, it arrived only about 50 days ago. CRMC is the first hospital in the state of Tennessee to have 4K imaging in all of its OR suites.

The 4K-image resolution is the cornerstone of the Stryker 1688 Advanced Imaging Modalities (AIM) 4K Platform. It allows surgeries to be more precise by giving the surgeon better visualization during procedures.

The platform also allows the doctor the option of being mic’d up during the procedure. This allows the surgeon to control lighting through voice-activated lights.

“Previously, the nurse at the beginning of a laparoscopic case would have to turn several lights on or off manually. Now the doctor can control the lighting himself, so the nurse can attend to the things that he is needed for,” explained Phillips.

In complex cases, doctors can now consult with other doctors, including sharing images, in other OR’s and even in certain physician’s offices. This ability is an improvement as it allows doctors to get another’s opinion without breaking scrub and physically going to another OR and rescrubbing to speak to the other doctor.

“It enables us to do these procedures a little quicker and a little bit more efficiently,” said Phillips.

CRMC chose to include SPY-PHI in their platform. SPY-PHI is a portable fluorescence imaging device that gives doctors the ability to visualize blood flow during open surgical procedures. 

“By using this dye and technology, doctors can flip a switch and go from a regular view to night vision where it lights everything up allowing doctors to actually see the blood flow through the vessels ensuring that circulation is adequately restored,” Phillips said. 

This is especially valuable during procedures such as colon resections, where it is so critical to ensure that the blood flow is restored to prevent having to return the patient to the OR again. 

The ability to visualize blood flow during open surgery may also help the surgeons make critical decisions that can reduce the risk of complications related to poorly perfused tissue.

The system’s Connected OR Hub allows the staff to easily stream, record and print surgical pictures and videos. 

Clinical teams can also use the OR Hub to provide text message updates to patient’s loved ones during the procedure without leaving the OR. 

“This operating room that we have here, because of Paul’s (Korth) leadership, is state of the art,” added Phillips. “He saw the significance in that, and then what it meant for the community, as well as what it’s going to mean to recruit surgeons who want to come and work here.” 

“It’s commendable for the board too,” said Paul Korth, CRMC CEO. “The board sees this and is committed to making sure we have quality patient care here. In order to do that we have to have the tools, machinery and equipment to make sure we have the quality care, and this is just another added innovation.”

Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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