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Published: Friday, 7/8/2011

All-digital orthopedic hospital to open soon

Sylvania Twp. facility to offer elective surgery

Sean Tucker, from medical device firm Steris Corp., demonstrates lighting equipment at Wildwood Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital. Sean Tucker, from medical device firm Steris Corp., demonstrates lighting equipment at Wildwood Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital.
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With an information technology system that will allow surgeons to consult electronically with other doctors during operations -- and with six sterile operating rooms encased in a sterile area, along with 36 private patient rooms -- ProMedica's $33 million Wildwood Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital is on track to open Oct. 3.

The Sylvania Township hospital, co-managed by 17 local orthopedic and spine surgeons, has been under construction since April, 2010. It is on the Wildwood Medical Center campus, and the 70,000-square-foot hospital is connected to the rest of the North Reynolds Road complex by an enclosed pedestrian bridge.

The light-filled, airy hospital was designed with orthopedic and spine patients in mind. All surgical and patient care areas are on the ground floor, for example, and there is a long hallway outside patient rooms to encourage walking as part of rehabilitation, said Dr. Karl Beer, an orthopedic surgeon and one of the hospital's co-managers.

ProMedica's first all-digital hospital, where medical records will be kept electronically, will allow surgeons in the midst of an operation to call up prior test results and communicate with colleagues, said Dr. Paul Fenton, another orthopedic surgeon and hospital co-manager:

"You can do a consult or email right from here," he said, showing a digital screen in one of the hospital's operating rooms.

Holly Bristoll, the hospital's president, was accompanied by Dr. Beer, Dr. Fenton, and others for a media tour of the facility. Some equipment is in place, and flooring and other finishing touches are being installed.

Joint replacements, spine surgeries, and other orthopedic operations will be performed on adults. Patients will be able to get same-day procedures and tests, such as MRIs, done at the hospital.

One of the operating rooms has electronic equipment capable of filming during a surgery so it can be watched elsewhere, such as at the University of Toledo Medical Center, Dr. Beer said.

"If you want to teach residents at UT, you can put that over the Internet," Dr. Beer said of the former Medical College of Ohio.

A few surgeries will be performed toward the end of September before the hospital officially opens, Ms. Bristoll said. The hospital will have about 200 employees, and patients will be given T-shirts and shorts instead of dreaded hospital gowns so they can tackle therapy, she said.

Only elective, scheduled surgeries will be performed at the hospital. It will not have an emergency room or intensive care unit, so no trauma surgeries or procedures on patients with other health concerns will be done there.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at: jmckinnon@theblade.com or 419-724-6087.

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