Integrated Ceiling Systems for Operating Rooms

| May 16, 2017

The design of a hospital operating room is extremely important in providing patients with safe, clean healthcare. Developing sterile air fields in an operating room shortens patient recovery time as well as reducing the likeliness for infection. When designing an operating room, it can be difficult to coordinate between architects, engineers, and contractors. Coordination issues can result in problems such as air diffusers being blocked, which creates poor air flow quality in the room. Multiple vendors now provide fully coordinated ceiling installations that integrate ductwork, piping, wiring, and medical tools into one single unit. These integrated ceiling systems reduce the amount of coordination and ceiling space needed to properly outfit today’s O.R.’s. Operating rooms are in high demand, and increasing the amount of healthcare providers with integrated ceiling technology benefits everyone from patients to doctors to construction teams.

Patient Care

Having a high performing ceiling system is a huge asset in a healthcare facility. Patients are always the number one concern, and having outdated or unorganized equipment can make people uncomfortable. You wouldn’t want to be wheeled into an operating room looking like it was built before the first computer, would you? Aesthetics aside, patient health is the main objective in any healthcare facility. Most of today’s integrated ceiling systems use laminar air diffusers outfitted with HEPA filters to provide a constant large volume of clean flowing air to an operating room. This mass of unidirectional moving air from the laminar diffusers engulfs the patient and operating table in a protective barrier against harmful particles and bacteria. Proper design of laminar flow diffusers has been a standard in operating rooms for years. Having ceiling mounted equipment, optimally coordinated with diffuser layouts to provide the most evenly distributed airflow possible, brings integrated ceiling systems to the highest air quality standards seen in today’s O.R.’s

Care Provider Benefits

Nurses and doctors need to have cutting-edge technology in their work environment to provide the best possible care to patients. This is especially true in operating rooms, where the most critical procedures are being carried out on a regular basis. With all the people and equipment needed to perform these surgeries, operating rooms can be crowded workplaces. Doctors and nurses need to be able to move quickly and rapidly adjust essential tools in and out of the work space. Integrated ceiling systems can provide support for multiple ceiling-mounted imaging displays, lights, trays, and other tools needed for a state-of-the-art operating room. Moving bulky, cumbersome equipment from the floor to the ceiling also creates a much-needed circulation area for essential movements of doctors and nurses.

Ceiling Space Reduction

Operating rooms are generally small areas that require full fire protection, multiple medical gas points, high volumes of air, electrical power, telecommunications, and lighting. All of these systems and equipment demand a lot of space for proper routing. Often, medical care facilities struggle to add operating rooms to their existing buildings due to a lack of adequate floor-to-floor height. When an integrated ceiling system is incorporated into a design, many of these problems can be alleviated. These systems have sterile air plenums with integrated inlet and outlets internal raceways for all utilities. Piping, wiring, and ductwork routing requirements are condensed into the smallest practical pre-engineered space.

Coordination

Between large ductwork, piping, and wiring, coordinating utilities in small ceiling spaces can be challenging. Incorporating an integrated ceiling system into a project can help solve these challenges. In addition to operational and design improvements, construction costs and time are also a benefit of integrated ceiling systems. Installation is much easier than the current process of piecing O.R. ceiling space together. The integrated systems are outfitted with predetermined connection points for piping, ductwork, and wiring. Lights, diffusers, registers, and ceiling mounted medical tools are integrated into the assembly at the factory by the manufacturer. This reduces the amount of coordination between the design and construction processes. This minimizes chances for RFI’s to arise after design is completed and reduces performance conflicts between air flow and lighting. Additionally, set up is simple and fast because many ceiling system manufacturers provide single point connections for ductwork, power, and controls; construction teams can have an integrated ceiling system fully installed in a matter of hours.

Conclusion

Integrated ceiling systems have revolutionized the design of operating rooms. The high-quality air distribution from these systems is bringing operating rooms into the future of healthcare standards. Quicker patient recovery times and reducing the number of surgery patients with post operation infections make integrated ceiling systems a must have in an O.R. If healthier patients a isn’t enough to get on board, then the easy design and installation certainly should be.

Zachary DiSalvo
About

As a Mechanical Design Engineer, Zach collaborates with project stakeholders to create design documents encompassing all building mechanical systems, throughout all project phases. He has experience in the healthcare, health sciences and higher-ed academic markets.

More from

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *