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2005 Press Releases
Morton Plant North Bay Opens the First Voice-Activated Operating Room Suite in Pasco County

Increasing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Minimally Invasive Procedures

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (June 21, 2005)- The new voice-activated operating suite at Morton Plant North Bay is the first operating room in Pasco County to integrate surgical device technology via voice activation and a central control system. By using simple verbal commands, surgeons can activate equipment, perform telesurgery, dictate notes and document findings with still pictures and/or motion video.

"Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is committed to providing our community with the highest level of health care by bringing the voice-activated operating suites and other sophisticated medical technology to Pasco County," said William M. Jennings, administrator and chief operating officer, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital. "We have also recently announced the addition of two surgeons, Dr. Nancy Taft and Dr. Jose Ramirez, who will utilize the voice-activated operating suites primarily for minimally-invasive procedures."

Minimally-invasive procedures are significantly less traumatic than conventional open surgeries because surgeons use an endoscope to view the patient's anatomy through a small incision. The result is shorter hospital stays and recovery times, as well as reduced procedural costs.

The new operating rooms also have built-in surgical equipment and plasma monitors that hang from the walls and ceiling. This voice-activated, suspended 'boom' system technology increases the mobility of physicians and operating room staff because they no longer have to manually maneuver equipment throughout the room on carts.

"With direct voice control of medical equipment, surgeons can work more efficiently and effectively," said Judith Dickinson, nurse manager of surgery. "In effect, the technology allows doctors and operating room staff to concentrate on providing patient care rather than spending time waiting for commands and manually running medical equipment."

The operating rooms were designed by Stryker Endoscopy and utilize the Stryker Integrated Device Network, or SIDNE(tm). SIDNE(tm) is a voice-activation system capable of networking medical equipment in the operating room. SIDNE(tm) gives surgeons voice-activated, centralized control over operating room devices such as the endoscopic camera, video recording equipment and light sources. Using wireless technology, both a microphone and a control panel can move freely through the room, allowing the surgeons and medical staff greater mobility during procedures.

The SIDNE(tm) system also allows the operating room at Morton Plant North Bay to connect with other hospital campuses, conferences and secure computer networks via an integrated video/data routing system. "Surgeons can teleconference during a surgical procedure for teaching or consultations. Digital routing allows surgical images, audio notes and other patient data to be directly downloaded to a secure patient file on a central server," said Jennings.

Established in 1965, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is a 122-bed facility dedicated to improving the health of all it serves through community-owned health services that set the standard for high quality, compassionate care. A recent recipient of the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is located at 6600 Madison Street, New Port Richey, Fla., (727) 842-8468.

Contact: Jessica Keene/Beth Hardy, Morton Plant News Bureau, (727)462-7416 Phone, (727)468-7586 Pager