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Baptist Medical Center unveils new surgery.

Technology Worth $40,000 Provides Clinical Education Opportunities

STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHnology can give observers a surgeon's view of a procedure without the need to enter the operating room.

Such a facility is now available in central Arkansas. Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock debuted an interactive Surgery Learning Center on Oct. 11.

Funded by $40,000 in private donations to the Baptist Medical System Foundation, the facility had been a longtime dream of Dr. R. Barry Sorrells, an orthopedic surgeon who helped develop the center.

"When I saw one, I realized the potential," Sorrells says. "I see it as an extremely valuable learning tool for surgical specialties."

Sorrells also acted as host for the center's first symposium, where he performed a total knee replacement and discussed preoperative planning and postoperative care in detail.

The center uses two cameras that capture and transmit the procedure to a nearby observation area. Surgeons wear a wireless headset with a microphone and ear piece, allowing them to explain techniques and field questions throughout the procedure. Observers can hear not only direct communication from the surgeon, but communication among surgery team members.

There is a camera operator in a control room, selecting the camera signal to be projected and controlling the audio and camera options.

In the 30-seat observation room is a six-foot video screen and a speaker system. A moderator has a podium and a microphone linked to the operating room. He can relay questions from the viewers to the surgeon.

Sorrells believes the high-tech arrangement of the Learning Center actually makes the observation room superior to being in the operating room.

The Learning Center is set up in a neutral operating room that easily will accommodate most surgical specialties.

"It adds depth to our comprehensive services by providing a place to demonstrate new technology and ways we can apply it to our current offerings," says Steve Lampkin, senior vice president and administrator of Baptist Medical Center. "It will allow us to bring people in from across the country and even the world to share skills."

Judy Ethel, director of the operating room, adds, "One of the big payoffs is that it does protect patients by restricting the traffic during the procedure. Traffic stirs up contaminants. Yet, we need to provide training opportunities."

Also addressing the full house at the center's inaugural use were Dr. Louis Jordan, moderator, an orthopedic surgeon from Norfolk, Va.; Kim Hamma, registered nurse, Baptist Medical Center, who discussed nursing and rehabilitation care of knee replacement patients; and Terry Dietz, an engineer with DePuy Inc., who has been involved in prosthesis and instrumentation development and discussed the technical aspects of knee replacements.
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Title Annotation:Special Section: Health Care Update; interactive Surgery Learning Center
Author:Ford, Kelly
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Oct 25, 1993
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