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Hybrid Theatre saving lives in Queensland

Lavinia Buckley

Lavinia Buckley

12 September 2014 - In early April 2014, UnitingCare Health, launched Queensland’s First Private Hospital Hybrid Theatre at the St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital in Springhill, Brisbane.

This is the first such theatre located in a private hospital in Queensland. The $AUD3 million Hybrid Theatre is part of an overall $AUD5 million project to redevelop and upgrade the hospital’s operating theatre facilities.

Aurecon acted as project manager and superintendent for the refurbishment project, with two existing theatres also having been refurbished as part of the project.

Since the facility became operational in April, Lavinia Buckley, Aurecon’s Project Leader on the St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital project has received a number of industry awards. They include the:

  • National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Queensland/Northern Territory chapter – Award for Achievement in Safety, Health and Environment
  • Australian Institute of Project Management, Queensland chapter – Project Manager of the Year Commendation

Apart from this industry recognition, Lavinia will also be presenting a paper on the project at the upcoming Australian Institute of Project Management National Conference. 

“The focus of my conference presentation, and the focus of the awards I recieved, was a new innovation which I applied to manage infection control risks in the hospital,” says Lavinia.

“The combined efforts of the Aurecon project management team, together with the project’s control group, allowed the theatre to be operational one month ahead of schedule, with a considerable amount of associated budget savings,” adds Lavinia.

UnitingCare Health Deputy Chief Medical Officer and St Andrew’s Director of Medical Services, Dr Christian Rowan, said the new Hybrid Theatre was equipped with sophisticated medical imaging technologies which allowed specialists to perform highly complex surgeries through small incisions, resulting in less discomfort, faster recovery times and fewer risks for patients with multiple medical conditions.

The Hybrid Theatre incorporates advanced flexible imaging equipment and software from Philips Healthcare, with the generator and flat panel detector technologies the first to be installed anywhere in the world. The system provides high-quality, high-resolution X-rays and three-dimensional images of anatomy and soft tissue while substantially reducing radiation doses.

Advances in X-ray, CT scanning and other medical imaging technologies have made it possible to diagnose and treat patients for a range of diseases through minimally-invasive surgical techniques in which targeted areas of the body are accessed via major arteries.

“The Hybrid Theatre at St Andrew’s allows our cardiovascular, vascular and neurological surgical teams to perform both these minimally-invasive, image-guided endovascular procedures as well as traditional open surgery,” Dr Rowan said.

“In some cases, patients require both types of surgery and this can now be done in the one theatre session under a single anaesthetic, rather than in several stages in different theatre facilities within the hospital.”

St Andrew’s Director of Vascular Surgery Dr Andrew Cartmill, who performed the first procedures in the Hybrid Theatre, said the resolution and clarity of images was the best he had ever seen.

“The detail is quite incredible,” he said. “What we can see very clearly on the screen is blood vessels which are fractions of a millimetre in diameter. Tiny vessels through the heart, brain, and legs right down to the very tips of the toes.

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