INNOVATIVE ACCESS: A BOLD NEW APPROACH TO CANCER PATIENT CARE AT CARTI SURGERY CENTER
The opening of a new medical facility is an opportunity to showcase the very latest in health care technology and innovation, and the CARTI Surgery Center is no exception. As the only cancer-focused surgery center in Arkansas – and one of few in the nation – it is poised to radically change our surgical landscape. And yet the most innovative, algorithm-shifting aspect of the new center isn’t the incredible technology. It’s even more incredible access.
Balancing Technology and Time
Of course, yes, the new CARTI Surgery Center is home to state-of-the-art technology. We have six large operating rooms, two equipped with minimally invasive surgical robots, plus three procedure rooms, 14 pre-op/post-op rooms, 12 recovery rooms and eight private rooms. Technically speaking, this is a “mega surgery center,” and the level of medical machinery here lives up to that label. But all of these incredible amenities have a very simple purpose: to save time for patients while our providers deliver outstanding care.
Robots allow extremely technical surgeries to be done safely and efficiently. Some hospitals have adopted robot technology, but there is a limit to the number of procedures that can be done because of the volume demand to use the robot. With our surgery center, we’ll have two oversized robot operating rooms which dramatically increases robotic surgery capacity. The result? CARTI patients get priority access to the most technologically advanced surgeries available.
A Patient-Centered Approach
As a cancer center, CARTI is already home to surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology and support services. We are focused on cancer patients all day, every day, and we take very good care of them. Understandably, our specialized approach to patient care is different than that of a hospital. So one of the things we hear constantly from our patients is, “Why do I have to go to a hospital to get my procedure done?”
The answer is that, until now, a hospital setting was required to provide CARTI patients with the level of surgical care they needed. CARTI is home to brilliant surgical oncologists, and some of the procedures they perform are very complex – beyond what CARTI, as a specialty cancer care provider, had the space and equipment to perform. The new CARTI Surgery Center is well-equipped for physicians to perform these procedures without having to move to a hospital, streamlining patient care and scheduling while maintaining CARTI’s specialized focus.
How Efficiency is Advancement
Take a patient with melanoma, for example. They’re going to the hospital for a biopsy and to a nuclear medicine department to get injected with radioactive dye, among other treatments. Multiple steps, multiple places. With the CARTI Surgery Center, those multiple steps can be done onsite – and with state-of-the-art equipment, because physicians don’t have to juggle the needs, requests and demands of a full hospital.
This level of efficiency allows CARTI to take on cases that were previously not possible outside of a hospital setting. In addition to saving time and stress, patients benefit from improved communication with physicians, as well as better inter-departmental communication. The streamlined approach also gives patients the comfort of keeping all of their care within the system – even the same location – they’ve come to know and trust.
Better Women’s Oncology
One of the real pushes for the CARTI Surgery Center was specifically for women’s oncology. With a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, we can take care of multiple steps under one roof. After surgery, we can move the patient to the overnight stay suite while the breast surgeon is taking care of other things for them. The ability to flip rooms as needed allows patients to be seen in a timely way. And bringing everyone under one roof, including plastic surgeons and related care, makes a huge difference in terms of the patient experience.
Obviously, the benefits extend beyond women’s oncology. CARTI Urology is another key area, with the surgery center being a fantastic resource for both benign and malignant procedures. Biopsies can be taken care of right then. Tumors can be addressed in a timely fashion. Efficiency – paired with an unwavering patient focus – offers widespread benefits.
Focusing on What Matters
However, the CARTI Surgery Center is not trying to be everything to everyone. You won’t find us performing heart surgery. The old adage ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ can hold true in health care, too. This facility exists to take care of cancer patients, or patients whose diagnosis or condition could somehow touch cancer. Continuing our focus on specialized care allows us to really focus on the patient and the mission, and to do that very well.
And that’s the key to it all for CARTI. Going through a cancer journey is really unlike anything else. We are privileged to see folks at their very worst – and at their very best. Above all, we are given the very high calling of taking care of people who, regardless of outcomes, are going to endure about as much stress as a person will ever experience. Anything we can do to make life better is worthwhile.
For more about the CARTI Surgery Center here.