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Improved and more ergonomic working environment

Strain caused by heavy lifting was previously part of everyday work for the operation room personnel at the outpatient surgery clinic of the SÄS hospital in Borås. Merivaara worked together with the surgical team to develop more ergonomic patient positioning tools. Now they are using Promerix surgical table with powered leg rests.

The SÄS Hospital in Borås, Sweden, is situated some 65 km from Gothenburg on the Swedish West Coast. Employing some 4,000 staff, the SÄS Hospital carries out 230,000 treatments and 30,000 in-patient visits each year. A knowledge-based organization with the highest standards of medical knowledge, technology, and nursing care, its philosophy is to be a health-promoting hospital that offers good specialised hospital care and enhances patients' quality of life.

Strain caused by heavy lifting was previously part of everyday work for the operation room personnel at the outpatient surgery clinic of the SÄS hospital in Borås. The clinic is doing 6-8 operations per table daily. The tables they used previously required many heavy lifts a day, causing strain in the back and shoulders of the personnel. In order to create a better working environment and thus also improve safety for patients, they decided to look for new operating tables.

In fierce competition with major players in hospital furniture, Finnish Merivaara was chosen as supplier of six specially designed operating tables for outpatient surgery and endoscopy at the hospital. After having taken the new tables into use, personnel feedback has been unanimously positive.

“Working in close co-operation with Merivaara, we adapted the new operating tables to meet our requirements and wishes in order to come up with an optimal solution both in terms of our patients' best interests and our own working environment,” explains Pia Grönberg, scrub nurse at Borås Hospital outpatient surgery.

Pia served as a liaison between the principal and the vendor and was involved in every step of the process, from construction to prototype work and testing of the new operating tables. This was precisely the kind of work approach that was the key to success, according to Fredrik Dorch, sales representative for Merivaara.

“It’s the principals who will be living with the product and they’re the experts on how the tables need to function when the going gets tough. Then it’s up to us and our specialist expertise to turn their wishes into an innovative and functional solution,” says Dorch.

This is why the combined expertise of technicians and builders was assembled at Borås on several occasions in order to come up with the best solutions. “We’ve enjoyed an open and reciprocal dialogue, where personnel requirements formed the foundation of the end result," says Dorch.

A total of six operating tables were involved – four for outpatient surgery and ENT, and two for endoscopy.

Mobility and modularity were winning factors

The operating table in question is Merivaara’s flagship, the electro-hydraulic Promerix in its basic form, along with a host of customer-specific accessories, such as electrically operated legrests, a urology table and headrest.

The ergonomically designed table with its electro-hydraulic functions has significantly minimized strain among the personnel.

“Previously, we only had a column-mounted table that was "locked" to a specific position and all leg lifts had to be done manually, which meant many heavy lifts a day. When you consider that an outpatient surgery performs between six and eight operations per table per day, then you can see that the personnel’s shoulders and backs take a beating,” explains Dorch.

Promerix is a mobile operating table that can easily be moved thanks to the wheels. Its modular table top can be optimally configured for various operations and patients. The table has a maximum load capacity of 325 kilograms. It can be moved and carry a 275-kilogram load while in transport mode, which makes it ergonomic and extremely flexible.

The leg section can be controlled automatically with a wired or wireless hand control unit, which means that any heavy lifting needed during adjustment can be avoided. The specially designed urology table can be placed between the leg sections, retracted under the mattress and used as an instrument tray during procedures. The side rails hold the arms in place so they do not fall and the headrest, with its narrower profile, is designed primarily for ENT procedures, thus allowing better access during an operation.

Fruitful cooperation with Merivaara

The new tables have been in use since April 2011 and personnel have been very pleased with them.

“The new leg sections, just to name one of the features, have really improved the overall working environment. The total solution makes everything more flexible and lets us do a better job for the patient,” says Grönberg.

The solution in Borås Hospital has also drawn attention from other parts of the hospital sector in Sweden. The Örebro University Hospital has already purchased four Promerix operating tables and a number of Opera tables.

“For us, a fairly small actor on the market, it’s extremely gratifying to be involved in processes like this. I feel that our engagement, our streamlined decision-making processes and our fast-acting development organisation attract customers. I think that our co-operation with Borås Hospital is proof positive of this,” a satisfied Fredrik Dorch states.

Merivaara products bear the CE mark and are ISO certified (ISO 13485 for medical device).


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