When used as an adjective, “hybrid” is defined as something “of mixed character, composed of mixed parts”. In today’s society, the term is regularly used to describe cars, genetically modified plants, dog breeds, or any combination of two distinct styles. In the healthcare industry, the word hybrid is generally used to describe a mixture of functions in both operating rooms and interventional radiology rooms.
Hybrid operating rooms are surgical operating rooms with permanent intraoperative imaging equipment incorporated in the room. CT, MRI, or vascular imaging technologies are the most common imaging technologies found in hybrid operating rooms. The coordination and integration of imaging technologies with the requirements of a standard operating room can be challenging. The space above the ceiling is quickly taken up by the structural components of the imaging system supports, not to mention the ductwork, medical gas piping, and electrical conduits required to serve the patient’s needs. Coordination of the ceiling plane can also be difficult due to the competing space requirements of lighting, laminar flow diffusers arrays, ceiling mounted booms, and imaging equipment. Early involvement of an integrated project team including the owner, imaging equipment vendor, architect, structural engineer, and MEP engineer is necessary to adequately plan for the layout and construction of a hybrid operating room.
The design and construction of hybrid interventional radiology rooms are also challenging. Hybrid catheterization or EP labs are standard interventional labs that have been designed to also function as full scale cardiac operating rooms. This added functionality allows for patients to be treated more quickly and reduce the risk of infection if a complication is encountered during the catheterization or EP procedure. These rooms also require careful coordination by the design and construction team to ensure that a sterile environment for surgical procedures is provided, while also coordinating with the interventional radiology equipment in the room.