MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) opened the newly-renovated Pediatric Perioperative Suite, a space outfitted with modern technologies that interweave the pediatric perspective, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 16. Located on White 3, the suite expands on the department’s many patient-centered features that cater to the wide age range of children treated at MGHfC.

 

A glass-printed mural of the iconic Boston Common Make Way for Ducklings statue welcomes pediatric patients and their families into an expansive waiting room that houses age-appropriate toys, touch screen tablets and cozy alcoves for seating.  A dedicated, quiet space aimed at making the perioperative experience less anxiety provoking for children with sensory sensitivities and developmental disabilities is co-located to the waiting room.

The 21,000-sq. foot area – just steps away from the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) -  now offers four peri-operative bays that come equipped with interactive LED light boards. The dancing colors, confetti and balloons displayed create a calming distraction for children as they prepare for and recover from surgery. “This state-of-the-art pediatric perioperative suite will present a child-centric, safe and pleasant environment for our pediatric patients and their families,” says Erik Shank, MD, division chief of pediatric anesthesia at MGHfC.

Three new pediatric operating rooms incorporate the latest technologies - such as high definition surgical booms that allow for better visualization and increased access to the patient -  into all aspects of the patient care and increase MGHfC’s ability to perform state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgeries that improve each child’s recovery time.  

As part of the department’s mission to teach the next generation of clinicians, live video telecasting equipment can now securely stream operations to hospital conference rooms and physician lecture opportunities. The teleconference system also allows surgeons to virtually consult with colleagues in real-time.

Perhaps most importantly though, pediatric surgery patients have increased continuity of care in the new space. Nurse-led teams oversee a patient through all steps before and after a procedure, reducing anxiety for children and their parents and fostering communication and relationship building between the families and care team.   

Construction for the new perioperative suite began in February 2016 after a multi-year planning process spearheaded by Departments of Nursing, SurgeryPediatric Anesthesiology and MGHfC leadership. The MGHfC Family Advisory Council also served in a consultative role during the project’s planning. Surgeon-in-chief of MassGeneral Hospital for Children and chief of pediatric surgery Allan Goldstein, MD, said “MGHfC prides itself on providing our patients with the highest level of pediatric surgical care available anywhere. The perioperative suite’s modernization significantly enhances the experience for a child and their family during an otherwise difficult time while giving our exceptional clinicians access to the latest advances in surgical care,” during the April opening celebration.