Increasing Minimally Invasive Surgeries to Boost Adoption of Hybrid ORs in Europe


August 14, 2012

August 14, 2012 — The next five years will see many hospitals in Europe overcoming the high cost and complexity of implementing hybrid operating rooms (OR) by adopting better planning and budget allocation. This will encourage hospitals with larger cardiac and neurosurgery services to implement at least one hybrid OR, suggests new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

Hybrid ORs combine conventional surgical equipment with endovascular imaging equipment to facilitate a multitude of new surgical events for many medical disciplines. Currently, Europe has very few hybrid ORs in comparison to mature markets such as North America. This is set to change as hybrid ORs facilitate sophisticated surgeries while reducing hospitalization periods. “Operating Rooms of the Future: A European Perspective” finds that the crisscrossing of disciplines, coupled with booming demand for minimally invasive surgeries, will boost adoption of the hybrid OR.

The key restraint to the uptake of hybrid ORs is cost. The expense involved in setting up a hybrid suite can vary between $3 million to $9 million, including the heavy investment in large devices like angiography imaging systems, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scanners. In Europe, installation costs alone start at $4 million for an empty site.

"Hybrid OR is perceived as an expensive alternative to traditional operating rooms, mainly due to the high initial investment," said Somsainathan C. Kamalasekar, research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "Currently, European countries are struggling to overcome the economic crisis, and such investments are not seen as attractive or critical areas that demand immediate budgets. Due to lack of funds, hybrid OR is witnessing a lower adoption rate than its actual potential."

However, most operating theaters are running at an average of 68 percent of their capacity, even though it is the largest revenue and cost-generating center for a hospital, accounting for approximately 42 percent of the average healthcare organization's revenue and a proportionate share of its costs. A hybrid OR will allow both human and technical resources to be employed optimally. Thus, integration of a hybrid OR into the central surgical department generates the most advantages, since a hybrid OR allows interdisciplinary applications and is available as an operating room resource.

"Practically, once the hybrid is set up, the hospital can save costs through its use and additionally optimize the selection and quality of treatment routines. This also increases patient and staff satisfaction," said Somsainathan. "Educating and increasing the awareness about the benefits of hybrid OR, as well as targeting the private hospitals that have sufficient funds, will help in the short run."

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