The OR at Stockholm Södersjukhuset Hospital was created as a centre of excellence to test and learn to adopt new medical technologies that will match the needs of the rapidly developing surgery. Alina Kubiak, director of marketing at ALVO, says that having a real curiosity about the specific needs of each member of the surgical team is key.
"Healthcare facilities need providers that will partner with them from the planning phase until implementation," she says. "The so-called 'patient experience improvement strategies' are ever more vital in today's healthcare planning."
'First listen, then speak!'. This approach has been imbibed by ALVO Medical over many years and has been consistently promoted internally so that all its employees understand why the company is doing something, not just how. Planning the integrated OR in Södersjukhuset Hospital, ALVO Medical didn't focus on the possibilities from technological side, but on functions that would have a clinical meaning.
OR integration is no longer about setting operating tables, or adjusting surgical lights and other medical devices. It is more about integrating video sources and making sure that all visuals (HD, 4K) are properly displayed, saved or shared. Surgical teams have taken note of the digital revolution, and are interested in having patient data from hospital information systems and PACS, as well as surgical checklists, integrated into OR workflows.
"We are constantly working on improvements, adding on or simplifying, to make sure that ALVO Integra helps our customers achieve better clinical outcomes," says Kubiak. "We try to avoid the risk of becoming too tailored or too unique to the point that we lose the core of the product, but we try to focus on the tasks and challenges of surgical teams, and help them organise surgeries to maximise safety, reliability, and clinical and economic results. In this aspect, our OR management control solution ,ALVO Integra, represents the human-centered planning approach."
In the modern OR environment, surgical teams work with equipment from a wide range of manufacturers and each medical device has to be independently controlled. Responding to feedback from surgical teams on how confusing this can be, most OR integrators in the market are now demonstrating their openness to working with various manufacturers.
"No one wants to be seen as a troublemaker - we prefer to be the problem solvers," Kubiak says.
Cross-disciplinary OR integration between independent equipment providers is probably one of the key market insights today, and partnerships are central to ALVO's marketing strategy. In 2016, ALVO completed compatibility tests with the Dräger Polaris 600 surgical light, announcing reliable integration, certified by both manufacturers. Its customers can control all of the significant parameters of the Dräger light from the ALVO Integra central control unit, too, reassured by the reputation for technical expertise, precision and reliability of both vendors.
In a world where proper customer service and the experience offered are often main differentiators, focus is no longer only on caregivers, but also on patients. A real human-centered experience starts by thinking how we want people to feel.
"A few years ago, ALVO had the pleasure to deliver integrated operating room and a surgical table to the Mandala Beauty Clinic," says Kubiak. "I might have guessed that the phenomenon of the Mandala Clinic is just having the right leader, hiring the right people and remembering that patients are human beings. It's easy to say, but the human-centered experience is an integral part of what Dr Samir Ibrahim created, striving to deliver the best clinical, physical and emotional experience to patients and their families. His clinics in Poland and Jordan have this global appeal with a local approach."
Patient experience is not about enhancing satisfaction or maximising profits - it is about transforming the way healthcare is delivered. Patients are becoming more aware of their health, and judge and share opinions about healthcare providers not only on clinical outcomes, but also on their ability to deliver excellent, human-centered care. Listening to all stakeholders and involving humans in a partnership dialogue can improve not only the patient and caregiver experience, but also the human experience.