News | 10 Sep 2019

Prefabricated operating theatres provided increased surgical capacity

Interview with Lena Jangentorp
Facility Manager
Regional service properties, Örebro County
Lena was head of surgery during the implementation of the project.
She has 30 years of experience in health care and solid knowledge of what is required to ensure high quality care with the highest possible standard of patient safety.

Swedish Module’s operating theatres gave us a first experience of how modern our renovated hospital premises would be.

Prefabricated operating theatres provided increased surgical capacity for Karlskoga hospital during the renovation of the hospital
Karlskoga hospital needed to renovate its premises in 2015, which were built in 1972 and could no longer guarantee patient safety. Poor CFU values and obsolete premises became the starting point for refurbishing the hospital. The management’s requirements were to maintain capacity during the two years of renovation.

200 additional operations per year in modular operating theatres
“The benefits of using Swedish modules solutions were several. First and foremost, we did not only maintain our surgical capacity but we actually managed to increase it by approximately 200 additional operations per year in our prefabricated operating theatres. We were given fewer rooms but could add Friday as a full day of operation, which led to the increased capacity. If we had stayed in our existing building, the renovation would have taken longer, we would have had reduced capacity and would not have been able to guarantee functioning operating theatres. And operations would probably have been at higher risk. ”

In the modular units, the patients received care mainly from orthopaedists, surgeons and urologists. This type of care needs quite a lot of equipment such as x-rays, laparoscopy and special surgery tables. “We were able to use existing surgical equipment and new stand-alone cabinets, which we later could bring to our new premises when the renovation was completed. The difference with a pass-through cabinet was that you had to refill the new stand-alone cabinets when the operating theatre was empty, but that did not cause any problems.”

Direct access to reliable and modern premises
We also got direct access to modern premises and we immediately realised how incredibly valuable they are for both employees and patients. Swedish Modules understood our requirements and the importance of meeting them. After all, patient safety has many dimensions. It encompasses everything from the employees’ skills and routines to the right equipment. When it comes to the premises, we must be able to rely on them, knowing that everything works, from ventilation and lighting to uninterruptible power supply.
In our temporary operating rooms, we had very good CFU values and great lighting, both of which were poor in our former premises.

The modules were docked on the ground floor and fully integrated with the existing building, allowing patients to access other departments safely and smoothly after surgery.

Low CFU values and well-planned spaces
Due to the risk of spreading bacteria, many requirements are set for ventilation and CFU values. “Of course, CFU is affected by several factors besides ventilation, such as how the staff is dressed, how much you move in the room and open the doors during surgery. The premises play an important role in minimizing the risk of infections at every stage. Swedish Modules kept a close eye on set requirements and met them.

“The temporary area was smaller but well-planned, which allowed us move less. It was also appreciated by the employees who found this less tiring. In general, people believe larger spaces are best, but this is not the case. As a healthcare professional, you need to move around a lot but too large areas can impact negatively. ”

Little impact on operations
“Thanks to Swedish Modules and their prefabricated modules, the reconstruction of our work space had rather little impact on our daily work after all, as we could remain in the hospital. Both employees and patients could thereby feel secure and safe. In addition, the Swedish Modules’ solution made it possible to ensure continuity with regards to our staff. If we had needed to reduce capacity, we would have been forced to let employees go during the reconstruction and been forced to recruit new employees again once the new premises were put into operation. Everyone in health care knows how difficult it is to recruit staff, especially specialist expertise such as theatre nurses.”

From a cost perspective, it was very positive that we could increase capacity – firstly, as we did not have to finance patients’ care in another county due to the healthcare guarantee and secondly, because we could retain all employees. But there are also other costs that need to be taken into account in the bigger picture as well, such as healthcare queues that can arise during the renovation period, which means patients’ personal suffering, which is the biggest cost of all.

“I liked the solution presented by Swedish Modules right from the start. They took all our requirements on the premises into account and we had a trusting and safe collaboration from the beginning to the end. ”

Read more about our prefabricated operation theatres->