SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY – Imagine a brand new operating suite with five spacious, state-of-the-art operating rooms, complete with the latest surgical equipment and comfortable private patient rooms – many with a scenic Hudson River view. That’s the latest development at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, where a 20,163-square-foot surgical suite has just opened on the third floor of the 755 Medical Services Building.
“Many Phelps surgeons and staff were consulted about the design and capabilities of the new facility,” said Richard Sinni, of Irvington, chairman of the hospital’s board. “The end result reflects the best ideas for creating an optimal environment for patients, clinical staff and changing technology.”
Called the SurgiCenter, the facility was designed for both inpatient and outpatient surgery. It is connected to the main hospital by a 200-foot-long enclosed bridge, permitting quick access to the full capabilities of the hospital and medical subspecialists. Proximity to the hospital ensures a level of safety that is not available at free-standing surgery centers.
“Freestanding surgery centers do not routinely have cardiologists, pulmonologists and internists standing nearby,” explains Richard Peress, MD, spine surgery specialist and Director of Surgery. “While patients who are seriously ill or need complex surgery cannot be treated at a freestanding surgery center, they can be safely cared for in the SurgiCenter.”
The operating rooms have state-of-the-art technology suspended from booms that can be easily moved above the operating tables for exact positioning. There is a video system connected to a central computer station that can transmit CAT scan, MRI, fluoroscopic or X-ray images to any of the monitors in the ORs. A patient’s vital signs and real-time surgical images are also displayed, ensuring that everyone involved in the course of surgery is fully apprised of its progress.
A unique feature of the SurgiCenter is the STERIS RealView Visual Workflow Management System, which enables family members and friends of surgical patients to be informed about the patient’s status. Real-time updates on a patient’s location and progress throughout the surgical process are displayed on a digital screen outside the waiting room. Phelps is one of only a few hospitals in New York State to have this system. Text message updates can also be provided to individuals on the hospital campus – or anywhere in the world. In addition, the system has a display for the surgical team that posts operating room schedules, patient status and “flags” regarding a patient’s special circumstances.
“What we have created is a surgical facility that is not only designed for tomorrow’s technology, but provides patients with unsurpassed comfort and privacy,” said Daniel Blum, President of Phelps. Unlike the patient rooms at freestanding surgery centers, which are usually separated simply by curtains, the SurgiCenter features rooms with solid walls and sliding glass doors. Soft, low lighting illuminates the patient’s bed, with brighter spot lighting for visitors to read or use electronic devices.
The décor in the SurgiCenter is a combination of contemporary and traditional, creating an overall timeless, elegant look. The space was designed to be very welcoming, comforting and warm. It includes a stone accent wall in the reception area, wall coverings in natural tones, and dark wood doors and trim throughout.
From an environmental standpoint, steps were taken to incorporate “green” features in the facility. Lighting fixtures are highly energy efficient. Some of the construction materials have recycled content, including quartz countertops that are certified for indoor air quality. An environmentally friendly waste disposal system fully cleanses surgical waste water, uses reusable plastic containers and does not contribute to landfill.
Designed by HCP Architects, the SurgiCenter was constructed by BBL Construction Services, which also built the Medical Services Building in 2007.
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Phelps Memorial Hospital is a 238-bed acute care community hospital in Sleepy Hollow with more than 1,700 employees and 500 medical staff members representing 60 medical specialties. Phelps offers one of the broadest ranges of community hospital services in Westchester. Patients benefit from distinguished physicians, many of whom are pioneers in their field, offering the most advanced procedures using the latest technology. www.phelpshospital.org. . Phelps' multispecialty medical group, Phelps Medical Associates, has 14 practice locations on campus and in the surrounding communities. www.phelpsmedicalassociates.org.