On June 24, the Sky Ridge Spine and Total Joint Center at Sky Ridge Hospital in Lone Tree opened its operating room doors for 13 surgeries. On June …
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On June 24, the Sky Ridge Spine and Total Joint Center at Sky
Ridge Hospital in Lone Tree opened its operating room doors for 13
surgeries. On June 25, 15 were scheduled.
A 60,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility was a
conglomerated effort of leading neurosurgeons and orthopedic
surgeons. The vision incorporated input from the hospital’s
clinical team, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgical technicians,
physical therapists and many others.
According to chief operation officer for Sky Ridge Hospital
Susan Hicks, this project started three years ago, and all parties
involved spent numerous hours and held meetings galore.
“We had many of the surgeons looking at floor plans, the patient
flow, along with nurses, they all had their input,” Hicks said.
The vision of the team came down to many factors, but the
underlying important theme: To create a facility that seems less
like a hospital, and more inviting.
“Patients that need this type of surgery are usually here
because of an elected kind of procedure,” Hicks said. “They aren’t
Hicks said if you conduct a lot of procedures with the same
team, and have a dedicated operating staff and instruments in a
dedicated building, the outcome will be more proficient. The wish
list from surgeons and other hospital personnel included all the
“bells and whistles,” Hicks said.
Among them included a large operating room, 700- square-feet,
compared to the normal 525, so the staff has room to move around,
which is very important, to reduce close activities that may cause
infections. Of course the latest in radiographic technology was
granted, monitors and navigation systems — similar to a global
Currently the center has 10 total joint surgeons and 10 spine
surgeons, conducting procedures from decompressions of the spine,
spine fusions, total knee and hip replacements and many others in
the first two days.
“When ‘like patients’ are on the same floor after surgery, with
familiar nursing staff as well, they have more in common with each
other,” Hicks added.
She said it was a “cute” sight with two patients comparing how
far each other was able to walk down the hall during their first
day of rehabilitation after surgery that morning.
The facility also offers joint and spine classes for the new
patient so they know what to expect. A “map” of each day,0 for
instance, allows patients to grasp their healing expectations after
“It is important that we set the expectations for the patient,”
Hicks, being in the medical field for 30 years, starting as a
nurse, surgical nurse and chief nursing officer at Rose Medical
Center, and joined Sky Ridge Hospital six months before it
“The change over the years in technology has been incredible,”
she said. “Back then we didn’t do anything with a scope. We just
opened everybody up.”
With only a few days of surgeries at the new Spine and Total
Joint Center, Hicks said one of the best compliments she heard was
from a surgeon.
“He said ‘the building is really nice, but the whole package is
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