Shelby Baptist invests millions in hybrid OR, hospital upgrades

ALABASTER – Shelby Baptist Medical Center recently unveiled its new hybrid operating room that combines a cardiac catheterization lab with an operating room in an effort to deliver the best possible care to patients.

On Sept. 4, Shelby Baptist CEO Daniel Listi provided an inside look at the hybrid OR, complete with an attached control room, that will soon be open to patients. He explained that the hybrid OR “allows us to take care of a sicker patient in a different way.”

The roughly $2 million hybrid OR is part of a larger $10 million effort to revamp and revitalize the hospital. The hybrid OR combines state-of-the-art imaging equipment permanently within a surgical OR to allow the entire heart team – imaging specialists, structural cardiologists and cardiac surgeons – to perform the most complex, minimally-invasive procedures in a controlled environment designed to make sure that bacteria can’t grow.

“Very minimally invasive techniques are done in the hybrid OR, however we have our very advanced surgical specialists and surgeons available so that if someone needs a higher level of surgery, they stay in this room and it’s converted from a cath lab suite into an OR suite,” Listi said. “We move the various cameras and equipment out of the way and then do an open procedure. The hybrid OR allows us to do everything in one room. It really allows the best patient care possible.”

Everything from X-rays, cardiology procedures and open-heart procedures can be done without shuffling the patient from room to room, Listi said.

“We have the equipment to really complement our physicians’ capabilities,” Listi said. “Our surgeons and cardiologists have been able to do different types of procedures but we haven’t always had the type of equipment needed to perform those, so the hybrid OR allows us to get high-level services with great technology right here in our community.”

Surgical services director Paula Pool said whenever the hybrid OR is in use, staff is on standby with supplies and needed equipment to perform the open procedures. The facility is equipped with monitors that show what the surgeon sees.

“That’s the best practice to ensure that everyone in the room can see what’s going on and what the surgeon or cardiologist is looking at,” Pool said. “Each of the monitors will have patient information on them, and there’s an X-ray machine that moves around the patient so we can see the patient from both sides – over and under. We’re well-equipped to handle whatever walks in the door.”

The bulk of that $10 million investment was spent on the hospital’s operating rooms. All of the hospital’s OR suites, which were about 15-20 years old, were renovated. New floors, walls, ceilings and lighting were installed in all of the OR suites.

The renovations included the addition of a cystoscopy lab that was placed outside of the OR space in an area that works best for the local urology group, Listi said. The cystoscopy suite is dedicated to urology procedures and provides advanced technology to examine the urinary system and perform biopsies of the bladder, prostate and more. Listi said upgrades were also made to the outpatient diagnostics center and first floor operations.