The University of Maryland Medical Center has been granted $2.5 million to develop an Operating Room of the Future, in conjunction with the Department of the Army. The funding is part of a Department of Defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2002, which has been approved by Congress.
The Medical Center will partner with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command is Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, to develop new operating room technology and conduct research on its impact on patient care and safety.
We are uniquely poised to develop the OR of the Future because we are opening a new building this summer that will house 18 newly-created operating rooms. They will be designed and equipped with the most advanced technology, says Stephen C. Schimpff, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center. In our OR of the Future, we will test a variety of innovative technologies to improve patient care and efficiency, ranging from information systems to state-of-the-art anesthesia delivery.
Our new OR will have the latest devices to assist surgeons, such as robotics and 3D imaging, as well as sophisticated communication and information management systems, says Bruce Jarrell, M.D., Chief of Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The University of Maryland Medical Center is the lead partner with TATRC, but there is also an OR of the Future consortium. It brings together more than a dozen institutions, including other academic medical centers and medical device manufacturers. The consortium is mission is to advance knowledge and foster collaboration. It will also help members to pool resources and compete for research funding in operating room suite management, patient safety and advanced surgical technologies.
The OR of the Future is intended to revolutionize surgery in the United States. Some of the proposed research projects are designed to provide the nation is armed forces with technologically advanced surgical equipment that is smaller, lighter and faster. But many of the anticipated advances will apply to civilian hospital care as well, potentially helping people and institutions throughout the world. For example, studies of new ways to prevent medication errors and adverse drug events in hospitals are under consideration. Such problems affect millions of Americans each year.
The OR of the Future grows out of initiatives by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to develop a new centralized research funding strategy and coordinate the many places interested in surgical research. The strategy also reflects the interest of Congress in supporting research in advanced surgical technology.
The University of Maryland Medical Center is a national leader in pioneering technological advances designed to improve the overall functioning and safety of our hospital operations, said U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, who personally worked with the chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
This is a real win-win project, bringing together two great Maryland institutions, said U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore will have cutting-edge operating rooms to perform life-saving operations. And the Army is TATRC at Fort Detrick will gain real-world experiences to improve the health care we provide our troops. I am proud we were able to secure this important funding.
Senators Sarbanes and Mikulski supported the funding measure in the U.S. Senate, while representatives Benjamin L. Cardin, Elijah E. Cummings and Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., were key proponents of the measure in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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