Operating Room Requirements for 2014 and Beyond
Byron Burlingame, MS, RN, CNOR
A comparison of the inpatient surgery section (2.2-3) and the ambulatory surgery center chapter
(3.7) in the 2014 edition of the FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities to the same sections in the 2010 edition of the FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities reveals a number of changes. Most of these modifications were made to bring the requirements for inpatient and outpatient surgery facilities into closer alignment, which means the language will largely be familiar. However, some intentional differences remain, the primary one being the size of operating rooms. As surgical procedures previously performed primarily in an inpatient setting are increasingly taking place in outpatient facilities, the Health Guidelines Revision Committee (HGRC) members believe the physical environment for surgery should meet the same standards no matter where that surgery takes place. At the same time, they wanted to leave enough flexibility in the outpatient requirements to accommodate the space requirements of outpatient procedures that do not require a lot of equipment or staff but do require an aseptic field. In a review of the 2010 requirements, the HGRC Specialty Subgroup on Operating Rooms identified several important components of the ambulatory surgery text that needed improvement. To address this, the group started with a thorough comparison of inpatient and ambulatory surgery text in the 2010 edition. This
effort revealed that some requirements in the ambulatory surgery chapter did not exist in the inpatient surgery section and vice versa. This article will highlight the key changes in the surgery sections that resulted from the group’s work and the public review of their proposed changes.