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Opritech delivers state-of-the-art theatre for tasman patients

When designing a new operating theatre from scratch, Tasman Day Surgery sought the very best of everything.

“We wanted something that would attract the right specialties and have all the gear that was needed from the get-go rather than just a big room with painted walls,” explains Tasman’s General Manager Lynda Wakefield.

They chose to partner with Cubro’s operating theatre division Opritech to deliver the entire $10m facility – including the build and complete fit-out. The result is a future-proofed theatre that not only looks incredible, but features state-of-the art equipment to help serve the 90,000 people who live at the top of the South Island.

“We originally set out to provide dedicated endoscopy services. But now, because the theatre is so amazing and adaptable, we’re looking at orthopedic surgery, gynae surgeries, and we’re going to offer a respiratory service too – everything from deep sea divers who need their lung function tests done in a room with the appropriate HVAC air exchange through to sleep studies. It’s just fantastic.”

Tasman Day Surgery were keen to work with local suppliers and Opritech was conveniently based just down the road in Richmond, near Nelson.

The Tasman Day Surgery surgical team in theatre ahead of the first day of operations.

“Dealing with one company as a ‘one-stop shop’ was a huge advantage and Opritech’s entire team have been incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. They helped us pick all the equipment and they included me in decisions the whole way through.”

“Honestly, nothing was a problem for them. The effort the whole Opritech team put into this project was simply amazing. I knew that whatever I asked for, they’d do it straight away. So I was always mindful of not asking for something at 5pm so as not to keep them working too late!”

The modular theatre was mainly built off-site and then installed by Opritech within a matter of weeks. It features glass panel walls rather than traditional GIB to improve hygiene and allow for easy access should any equipment need to be changed, serviced or upgraded in future.

“We’ve got a beautiful picture of Abel Tasman printed onto one of the glass walls,” Lynda says. “It looks stunning and it’s wonderful for the patients because it provides a great distraction and helps them to relax when they first walk in.”

“The surgical teams love the theatre as well, especially the size. It’s big; it’s not crowded so there’s plenty of room for extra equipment. The colour on the walls was chosen because when a surgeon is looking at the colour red for a good part of the day, they look up at the blue and apparently it’s soothing and makes it easier to see. There’s some science behind it.”

Lynda says there are many special features that ensure this theatre is state-of-the-art.

“The surgical teams love the theatre as well, especially the size. It’s big; it’s not crowded so there’s plenty of room for extra equipment.”

Staff and patients enter through ‘no touch’ doors that maintain privacy while improving infection control. “You just wave your hand in front of the sensor and it opens. You feel like you’re in Star Trek!” Lynda enthuses. “You have to deliberately open them though – in some hospitals the doors will open if you just walk past which isn’t great for patient privacy.”

Wall-mounted monitors report on everything from the humidity and temperature of the room, to what’s happening with surgical equipment. All procedures are visible on a large screen so everyone involved can see what’s going on.

“We’re future-proofing to meet standards of the future. Our drug safe for example has extra security features which means even if a swipe card is stolen, you wouldn’t be able to open it without knowing exactly what to do.

“We also have natural light in the theatres which is unusual. The blinds are automated to come down themselves as soon as the lights turn off.”

An adjacent reprocessing room features new endoscope drying cabinets which can safely store endoscopes for up to seven days. Opritech also supplied a new scope washer and height-adjustable sinks. Covid-19 threw a slight spanner in the works when the chemicals required to operate the scope washer were delayed. But Lynda was impressed at Opritech’s response to ensure the theatre could still open as planned.

“They actually went the extra mile and got a scope washer for us that we had been using at our town site that we were no longer going to use…”.

Opritech moved it and set it up within a day so we could continue washing scopes. And when the right chemical components do arrive for the new washer we won’t have to worry about paperwork anymore – all the scopes will be electronically scanned so we can monitor their status.”

The theatre’s HVAC unit provides 20 complete air changes every hour and the surgical lights, medical gas, AGSS plant and vacuum plant are all top of the line. “The whole theatre is state-of-the-art. It’s the best there is,” Lynda says.

Cubro and Opritech also provided a full range of furniture, fixtures and equipment for Tasman’s new theatre and recovery room including anesthetic carts, theatre stools, IV poles, linen trolleys, reclining chairs, wheelchairs and more.

“And that’s the other reason I’m so glad we partnered with Cubro and Opritech. I haven’t had to worry about sourcing any equipment or finding anybody who can help me. It’s just been all-inclusive.

“I couldn’t have dealt with better people and they’re going to continue to look after us.”

Cubro and Opritech also supplied furniture including reclining chairs for the recovery room.

“Opritech can watch everything remotely, so their IT team will actually know if we’ve got a fault or need anything doing before we do. It’s just so reassuring that they will continue to monitor everything for us.”


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