The new WIP and VCCN (RL-7) guidelines indicate various parameters that are important for the correct air quality in operating rooms (ORs). Guidelines are currently being drafted for the monitoring of ORs and preparation rooms (RL-8). These guidelines will contain advice on the parameters to be used for monitoring and improvement of the air quality in ORs and preparation rooms.
For OR monitoring, it is important that users and management staff have insight into OR air quality, before, during and after procedures. Historical data are also important when analyzing air quality. A number of parameters influence staff behavior and create awareness with respect to OR procedures that affect the air quality, such as the number of times doors are opened during surgical procedures, staff movements and the shifting of patients or OR items from the periphery to the OR’s restricted area.
The Lighthouse monitoring system can be used to monitor the following key aspects of OR units:
- Temperature and humidity of air inflow into the OR plenum space and preparation room
- Temperature and humidity of the restricted area and the periphery of the OR and preparation room
- Temperature differences between the periphery and plenum inflow for correct UDF functioning
- Air velocity and volume of the air inflow below each plenum space
- Particle concentrations within the OR, on the periphery, on the table with surgical instruments and in the UDF
- Pathogen concentrations within the OR and on the table with surgical instruments
- Door movements: number of times doors are being closed/opened, how long they remain open, entered in a log during the time of surgical procedure
- Start/stop surgical procedure (enter on touchscreen or via data connection to EHR (electronic health record), in order to log these events during the procedure.
- Differential pressure monitoring in 3 descending zones between OR, preparation rooms, adjacent rooms.
- Pressure differences between the preparation room, adjacent rooms, airlock and other buildings (A+++, B++, C+, other building)
- Presence and quality of medical gases.
The LMS has extensive standard reporting options. Customized reports can also be made; the reports are intended to provide insight into the OR’s air quality, to enable intervention when necessary, to reduce the risk of infections as much as possible.
Data can be presented on touchscreens, both inside and outside the ORs, with all the desired parameters (also from connected systems, such as those of medical gases). Another option for sounding the alerts of limit exceedances are beacons that can be mounted in relevant locations.
Lighthouse systems can easily be connected to other systems to use and share data; for example, EHR and BMS systems, medical gases (e.g. oxygen, pressurized air, vacuum, carbon dioxide). Data can also be displayed on computer screens or display panels already present.