Take a virtual tour: Multi-year, $9M O.R. renovation and expansion complete

St. Peter's Health Operating Room

December 3, 2020

The latest in surgical technology

St. Peter’s Health announced today the completion of its newly renovated surgical suite at the Regional Medical Center. The two-year, $9 million project expanded the local health system’s operating room (OR) and sterile processing department, bringing the latest in surgical equipment and technology to the Helena community.

The new six-room operating suite includes the da Vinci Xi ® surgical robotic system and state-of-the-art infection prevention technology, image and video systems, and positive air flow monitoring.

“Investing in the surgical capabilities at St. Peter’s is instrumental to our ability to deliver safe, high-quality care to our community,” said St. Peter’s Health Chief Medical Officer and Regional Medical Center President Dr. Shelly Harkins. “We now have one of the most sophisticated operating suites in the state of Montana, plus a highly-qualified team of caregivers who are committed to caring for a planned hip replacement to an emergency trauma and many other surgeries and procedures.”

Operating Room virtual tour

The newly remodeled six-room suite includes:

  • Da Vinci Xi ® surgical robotic system: St. Peter’s Health launched the robotics surgery program in July 2019. To date, robotically-trained surgeons have completed over 200 robotic surgeries. The surgical robot system allows surgeons to perform complex surgeries that are less invasive and result in faster recovery times.
  • Indigo Clean ® continuous environmental disinfection system that uses visible light to safely and continuously kill bacteria in the environment around-the-clock.
  • 4G video streaming and 4K ultra-high definition picture quality that allows for in-suite viewing and out-of-suite viewing/streaming. New communication systems also allow people in the OR to communicate in real-time with specialists like pathologists located outside the OR.
  • Smart readers that monitor air flow, temperature and humidity in the suites.
  • Pass-through cabinets that allow surgeons and staff in the OR to safely accept additional instrumentation and supplies from staff in the sterile core outside the OR, without disrupting air flow in the room.
  • An audio-visual system that enables patients to pre-select their favorite music or videos to play ahead of sedation or anesthetic.
  • An expanded sterile processing department with equipment and technology upgrades. The sterile processing team is responsible for decontaminating and sterilizing all medical instruments at St. Peter’s Health, and they process over 65,000 medical instruments each month. 
St. Peter's Health Sterile Processing
The sterile processing department was expanded to help accommodate increased demand from the upgraded Operating Room. 

Investment in 'safety, services and staff'

Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Kerry Hale serves as the Medical Director of Perioperative Services at St. Peter’s Health.

“The renovation of our ORs represents an investment in safety, services and staff,” said Dr. Hale. “From a surgeon’s perspective, we have access to a comfortable environment that includes all the tools we need to provide the highest quality care to all surgical patients. I am very proud of this investment and space that will allow us ensure more patients can get the care they need close to home.”

According to Harkins, the arrival of COVID-19 in spring 2020 did not significantly impact or delay this major project despite the continued occasional need to postpone elective or non-emergency surgeries to ensure enough hospital beds remain available for sick patients. The St. Peter’s Heath OR team completes up to 20 surgical procedures a day, ranging from short biopsies to hours-long joint replacement or trauma procedures.