A groundbreaking trial of a technologically advanced temporary operating room at Veneto Institute of Oncology (IOV) Padua – recognised as one of the country’s nine leading centres of excellence – could pave the way for a new template for treatment of oncology patients across Italy and elsewhere in Europe.
The innovative collaboration between the IOV and British headquartered Vanguard Healthcare builds on proven experience in deploying mobile operating theatres at numerous facilities, including several sites at world renowned oncology hospital, the Royal Marsden, London.
The programme in Italy is focused on deployment of a surgery unit in Padua to help reduce waiting times and increase patient throughput – essential in the case of oncology. This new paradigm for surgery capacity – during refurbishment or enlargement works – could potentially be rolled out at a number of the nine oncology centres of excellence under the Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (I.R.C.C.S.) umbrella.
According to Prof Dr Castoro, Head of Surgical Oncology at IOV: “Temporary operating rooms, fully compliant to the most stringent Italian surgical standards, such as the unit at Padua, could prove to be an efficient method of increasing the numbers of patients treated at oncology centres of excellence throughout Italy. Currently treatment is limited to the available number of operating suites, so any additional facilities must be seen as a potential advancement both for treatment of patients and enhanced capacity and services offered by hospitals.”
The 15 metre long Vanguard facility at IOV Padua is located next to the Busonera hospital.
The mobile unit consists of the operating room, wash room, patient preparation room, a recovery room for three patients and two service areas. In total, a usable area of more than 100 square meters provides an appendix to the hospital. The hospital’s own surgical teams, under the direction of Prof Dr Castoro, have carried out numerous oncology procedures.
The Vanguard mobile laminar flow operating room, complete with all equipment and anaesthetic machinery, will be used primarily for work under the daily surgery, and without hospitalisation, as explained by Dr Castoro: “We will make interventions for cancer of the breast, including post-mastectomy reconstruction, for melanoma and for the placement of venous access for chemotherapy.”
At the end of the experimental period will be initiated the procedure for an eventual acquisition of a mobile operating room for a long period. The period of evaluation is for an initial four month period, to be followed with a potential extension via a public European tender process. This contract follows an earlier deployment in Italy of an operating room to a hospital in Pinerolo in 2012, in order to provide interim services during a refurbishment programme.
Dr Maurizio Pupi, managing director of Vanguard Healthcare Italia, explained: “The deployment of this unit will increase speed of patient throughput (flow) and potentially reduce fatalities with the increased volumes of earlier interventions and procedures. Vanguard’s ambition is to become partner of choice for oncology centres of excellence and other surgical facilities across Italy. The fact that our units allow hospitals to deploy strategically rather than undergo expensive fixed capital infrastructure projects also makes our solution appealing, especially in the current economic climate.”
The IOV – which enjoys an international reputation – undertakes scientific research in collaboration with the University of Padua in the fields of biomedicine, bio technology and healthcare in oncology.
Vanguard’s credentials in oncology include work with The Royal Marsden, a world renowned cancer hospital in London. The contract involved deployment of emergency wards, within 24 hours of a severe fire at the hospital. These facilities were later enhanced by a mobile operating room and connecting corridor to join the units to the main hospital building.
Vanguard Healthcare mobile operating rooms are deployed across Britain’s NHS hospitals and increasingly in Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and now Italy. By the beginning of August 171,703 procedures have been performed in Vanguard units.