Advanced operating and sterilisation facilities at for a hospital in Olsztyn, Poland

A new operating block and sterilisation unit for the Provincial Specialist Hospital in Olsztyn, the biggest hospital in the Warmia and Mazury region, makes complex surgery safer and uses space more efficiently. More patients can now be treated and these recover faster, resulting in better health for the region’s inhabitants.

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Advanced operating and sterilisation facilities at for a hospital in Olsztyn, Poland   © Wojewódzki Szpital Specjalistyczny w Olsztynie Advanced operating and sterilisation facilities at for a hospital in Olsztyn, Poland © Wojewódzki Szpital Specjalistyczny w Olsztynie

" Our facilities now meet the latest standards in hygiene and professional equipment. Thanks to these, we can provide better-quality, safer treatment to more people in the Olsztyn and the surrounding region. "

Irena Kierkowska – Hospital Director

This modernisation is one of the largest investments in the hospital’s history and for health care in the region.  Opened in 1970, the existing building houses 24 departments and around 450 beds. The operating block and centralising unit are in a new wing that was added to the main building, beginning in March 2008. The wing also contains a teaching centre with capacity for 120 students, with an auditorium and two seminar rooms.

Advanced facilities

On the first floor is the operating block, which contains 12 operating rooms, a 15-bed recovery room and two sterile recovery rooms. Patients are monitored continuously with the latest equipment and can be moved back to the operating room from recovery rooms immediately if needed, which is especially important for neurosurgical procedures. 

There are no fixed operating tables – instead patients are transported to and from the operating rooms on special trolley tops that are also the operating surface, to speed up treatment and reduce disruption to patients. Each operating room has a camera and computers for recording and sharing data and for viewing operations from the teaching part of the unit, which also makes telemedicine possible. 

Downstairs is the sterilisation unit. This contains three steam sterilisers, one plasma steriliser and one gas steriliser as well as a steam generator and an ultrasonic wash. Designed for maximum hygiene, the unit has separate sections for material waiting to be treated and for sterilised materials.

The whole facility has its own power generators to protect patients and processes against power cuts, along with a battery-based emergency power supply unit, or UPS, for instant power when needed. There are also integrated supply systems for medical gases, vacuums and high-quality treated water, and specialist ventilation and air-conditioning to keep air sterile in patient areas.

Better patient outcomes

Both parts of the block connect directly with the main part of the hospital so that departments, units and diagnostic laboratories can easily reach the operation rooms. Thanks to the new unit, the hospital has expanded its range of medical services and can now carry out up to 8 000 specialist medical examinations per year. In 2015, hospital treated 24 106 patients, 2 001 more than in 2012. Over the same period, the average patient stay reduced by one day, from 6.4 days to 5.4 days, suggesting faster recovery times. 

Since the unit opened, it has continued to become more efficient through better organisation of staff work. The complex created five jobs – two in admissions, and three servicing equipment in the sterilisation room.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “Modernizacja Wojewódzkiego Szpitala Specjalistycznego w Olsztynie poprzez rozbudowę istniejącego głównego budynku szpitalnego na potrzeby bloku operacyjnego i centralnej sterylizatornii” is PLN 68 120 721, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing PLN 45 464 967 zł through the “Regional Research and Innovation” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Health infrastructure”.


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