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    Building the optimal in-office OR


    Dos and Don’ts for the In-office OR

    Erin MetelkaErin Metelka, an interior designer with Studio Four Design, offers these design dos and don’ts.

    OR Dos:

    • Use a sheet flooring, with heat welded seams and sanitary cove base.
    • Use bleach cleanable/non-porous products.
    • Use clean/calming colors.
    • Provide a variety of adjustable ambient lighting options.
    • Utilize floor patterns to designate the extents of the sterile zone and care-provider zones.
    • With the wide variety of procedures that occur in an operating room, often times, the table is moved in order to accommodate the most efficient workflow with the other equipment in the suite. The floor patterns can also be used to dimension the proper location of the table for these various scenarios.
    • When creating several operating rooms, utilize an identical layout (not mirrored). Often, physicians are moving into adjacent operating rooms for a procedure, while a room is being turned over and sterilized. Having identical layouts increases efficiency and reduces error.


    OR Don’ts:

    • Do not have extraneous items of décor within the suite, such as artwork.
    • Do not utilize fabric of any kind such as curtains/draperies. If there are windows, create privacy with natural light by using integrated frosted glass. If an upholstery is required for a physician stool or other items, a bleach cleanable vinyl is a suitable alternative, ideally with a Crypton or nano-technology finish applied (these finishes work to prevent moisture penetration to the cushion and function as an antimicrobial).
    • Do not place any direct down-lighting, with the exception of the surgical boom, directly over the table.


    Studio Four Design is an architecture and design firm in Knoxville, Tenn., specializing in medical office design.


    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...


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