Guidelines for Designing Operating Room Layouts

/ By DSI Marketing TeamNovember 16, 2022

Are you managing an operating room facility? There are a lot of things that you have to consider, like your choice of OR cabinets and the overall layout. 

Below, we'll discuss the guidelines for OR design and layout.

Evaluate the Current Operating Room

Before designing a new operating room, you need to take a look at the current one you have. What is the current situation with the existing OR? What is the reason for getting a new OR in the first place? 

If the current OR is inadequate for the requirements of your hospital, then what is the reason for it? What are the bottlenecks?

There are plenty of possible reasons why an OR is efficient. It can be because of the way that it is managed or it could be a problem with the staff. However, the layout of the OR can also be a factor in its inefficiency. If you suspect that it is the cause of the inefficiency, then it's your job to find solutions to that.

Setting Goals for the New OR Layout

When you have determined what the problems are with the old OR layout, it's time to sit down and set new goals for the new layout. What will be the focus goals of the redesign? 

There are so many things that you can set as goals for your new operating room. For example, you can aim for your OR to handle more procedures within a shorter period of time. You can also aim to have more equipment in place.

Those are the goals that you will have when you are designing your OR.

Guidelines for Operating Room Layouts

When you have set your goals for your new OR, the next step is to design it. You must consider several factors when designing the new OR layout, and we will go through the most important ones below.

The Size of the Room

This is arguably the most essential factor that you must consider when designing your OR. The size of the room is the main limiting factor for your OR layout. 

According to experts, an operating room should not have less than 400 square feet of space.  However, if an OR is meant to handle more specialized care, then it should have no less than 600 square feet since that requires more staff and more specialized equipment.

Don't just focus on the current requirements of the OR, you should also factor in possible upgrades and changes. For example, if you are planning on doing more specialized procedures in the coming years, then it's better to allot space for that now.

Common OR Equipment

It's also time to think about the common OR equipment that you will need. There are a number of common equipment that all operating rooms should have, these include: 

  •         Anesthesia Machine
  •         Video Monitors and Cameras
  •         Anesthesia cart
  •         C-arm
  •         ESU
  •         Surgical Microscope
  •         EKG Machine

These devices will take up a lot of floor space and they don't include the chair, stool, counter, and table yet. The room should also have a computer and monitor to assist during the procedure.

We have mentioned earlier that you need to factor in the future expansion of your operating room. One way that you can plan for the future expansion of your OR is to have a soft space around the room.

There is also another step that you can take which is to rely on modular units for expanding the OR. This is a lot more flexible option for your expansion plans.

Space Saving Solutions

You must consider some space-saving solutions for your OR. Remember that the space available in an existing facility might be very limited. You need to figure out the best way you can maximize the available space and one way to do that is to use high-density storage solutions.

High-density storage solutions provide you with more storage space than traditional shelves and boxes. They are designed to be more space efficient. Another space-saving solution to consider is to utilize ceiling-mounted booms. This is a way to use the ceiling as a means to free up space on the ground.

There is a limited number of surgical tools and equipment that can be mounted on the ceiling, so you must figure out which ones can be installed there.

Supporting Systems

No matter how well-designed your OR layout is, if the supporting systems are not in place, then you will not achieve your goals. What are these supporting systems? 

These are the utility and architectural systems that are needed by the OR facility to function. Remember that the OR is connected to the rest of the facility. It requires power and other utility systems to run efficiently.

If those supporting systems are not integrated into the design and layout of the OR, it would be impossible for you to achieve all of your goals.

Ancillary Spaces

Remember that operating rooms are not just by themselves. They have to be connected to the rest of the facility to function well. 

You need to have a sterile processing room, for example. This facility is meant to be separate from the operating room. It is used for cleaning equipment and for disposing of contaminated materials. It is really necessary to ensure the success of the procedure that will be performed in the OR.

Another ancillary space is the changing room. This can be shared between several operating rooms.

The changing rooms must have lockers for the safekeeping of clothes and valuables for the surgical staff. While the changing room must be accessible enough, it should also be secured with the right sort of door. The wall of the changing room should also be easy to clean and sterilize.

Get the Right OR Cabinets from Distribution Systems International

All of our basket and shelf attachments may be installed quickly and without the use of tools in stainless steel operating room cabinets that include the innovative Modu-Cell interior by Distribution Systems International.

Doors are made of solid stainless steel or stainless steel with glass that can be customized and come with an electronic lock, a key lock, or no lock at all. We build each piece of stainless steel casework or OR cabinets to specific dimensions.

If you have questions and want to learn more about our customizable OR cabinets, contact us at 800-393-6090 at Distribution Systems International today!

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