Prime Minister John Key officially opened Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s new $2.5 million seventh theatre, today.
Head of orthopaedic surgery Stephen Bentall said the new theatre would help prevent patients booked for elective surgery being delayed by acute life threatening cases at the last moment.
Mr Bentall said the opening of a new theatre was ‘big deal" for theatre staff giving them more theatre capacity, and freeing up theatre six so it could be used for acute orthopaedic cases.
"Increased theatre capacity reduced pressure on the whole hospital and helped prevent patients with painful but not life threatening injuries having to wait longer than they should for surgery."
New video technology installed in the theatre would give staff in the operating theatre the ability to see projected images of a procedure as it happened and react accordingly, he said.
Mr Bentall said often complex and keyhole procedures could be difficult for nursing staff to see exactly what was going on. The new technology meant staff could see where the surgeon was up to so equipment was ready and waiting.
"This will make a big difference in time; help prevent delays and will contribute to better patient outcomes. Soon we will also be able to activate a connection via video link into an adjoining theatre while they are operating.
"I will be able to talk to my registrar operating in an adjacent theatre and offer advice while I continue operating on my patient - that’s much better use of my time and helps improve patient care in a seamless way," Mr Bentall said.
Chief executive Kevin Snee said the main beneficiary of the new theatre was the Hawke’s Bay community.
"This investment we have made in the new theatre has already improved health outcomes and helped prevent delays in treatment.
"Nobody wants patients waiting longer than they have to. The Hawke’s Bay community has waited a long time for us to be in a financial position where we can invest in better facilities for our staff to work in and improve the theatre capacity for our patients.
"It gives me great pleasure to be able to deliver on our promises today," Dr Snee said.
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