Improving Operating Room Safety with Prefabricated Support Systems

Advances in technology are changing the way surgeons treat patients in the operating room, as well as altering the way the operating rooms themselves are designed.  Today, operating rooms include everything from insufflators to flat panel monitors, to navigation equipment and video hubs.

As these technologies have become more commonplace, more effort is being made to improve OR safety, remove clutter and accommodate for a wide array of surgical procedures.  Many hospitals and Ambulatory Care Centers (ASCs) are installing equipment booms as a way of reaching these goals.  However, if not installed correctly, booms can create more safety hazards than they solve.

Traditionally, healthcare architects were concerned only with planning an operating room for optimal workflow.  But with the advent of ceiling suspended equipment booms designed to hold hundreds of pounds of equipment, architects and structural engineers must now factor in the most effective method to accommodate large scale weight and moment forces attached to the building structure.

Oftentimes the structure supplied to attach a surgical equipment boom or light to the building steel is a “red-iron”-type structure.  The term “red-iron” refers to the rust prohibitive red-oxide primer sprayed onto the standard steel shapes and plates used to fabricate the structure.  Red-iron mounts are typically field-cut-to-fit and field-welded to the existing building structure.  These types of mounts usually take a long time to install and rely heavily on the skill of the fabricator.  Extreme care must be taken to ensure that the mount is welded and assembled as designed, in the proper location, at the proper elevation and in the proper orientation.  The fabricator must also be sure to grind away all of the oxide coating at the weld locations prior to welding.  Weld strength and integrity are greatly diminished if the oxide primer is allowed to contaminate the weld.

Healthcare Technology Corporation eliminates these potential issues.  All of the support system configurations we manufacture have been extensively engineered, designed and tested to allow for pre-fabrication prior to installation at the job site.  Standard components, assemblies and subassemblies are married together to create a project specific mounting solution that can be supplied to attach to any type of building structure.  All of the required welding is performed at their manufacturing facility to documented procedures, by American Welding Society (AWS) certified welders.  All welding also takes place under the supervision of two (2) on-staff AWS certified welding inspectors.  Accu-Mount Support Systems utilize specially designed and engineered clips to facilitate attachment to the existing building structure eliminating all field welding and fabrication.

Stephen Strobridge, president of Healthcare Technology Corporation, is the inventor of the patented Accu-Mount Support System.  “Controlling the quality of the weld in the manufacturing process is key,” says Strobridge.  “The overall safety of any mounting system is dependent upon the weakest component.  A bad weld or improperly placed brace can lead to a potential failure.  Accu-Mount Support Systems are engineered to distribute loading predictably through the mount to the building structure.”

With equipment booms capable of generating forces in the thousands of pounds, pre-engineered and manufactured mounting solutions are one of the safest decisions that you can make for your building project.

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