Robotic Surgical System To Move To St. Joseph

By: News Release Email
By: News Release Email

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On Saturday, Aug. 15, Via Christi’s da Vinci Robotic Surgical System will be moved to the St. Joseph campus — a move being made as part of a reconfiguration of services to better serve patients and the employees and physicians providing their care.

Since its introduction at Via Christi-St. Francis in 2007, the robotic surgical system has been used to perform more than 500 surgeries, of which all but two have been urology and gynecology cases.

“During this period, however, the majority of our urology and women’s health patients have been at St. Joseph, which affords the easiest access for patients and their families,” said Laurie Labarca, chief operating officer for the Via Christi Wichita Health Network. “Consequently, we decided to move the robotic surgical system to the campus where urology and women’s health patients predominantly receive their care.”

To better meet the demand, the da Vinci system will be available for use on the St. Joseph campus from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, adding 20 hours to its weekly schedule.

“We needed to do that because the number of physicians trained to use the system has tripled in the past two years,” said Brian Swallow, director of Surgical Services at St. Joseph.

Moving the da Vinci cases to St. Joseph also will open up time on the surgery schedule at St. Francis, resulting in better scheduling of cases at both campuses.

“That’s going to be more important than ever this January, when Blue Cross and Blue Shield patients, who’ve long wanted to come to Via Christi for their care, will be able to do so,” Labarca said.

Work is also under way to reopen the lower level St. Joseph campus ICU, adding 12 general ICU beds to meet the growing demand from surgical, medical and acute behavioral health patients. The new ICU will open Aug. 17— the same day the da Vinci system will be first used at St. Joseph.

“We’ve been planning for several years ways to more effectively and efficiently use our space to provide the best possible patient, employee and physician experience,” said Claudio Ferraro, vice president of Strategic Planning for Via Christi Health System. “These are just a few of a number of efforts we’ll be making toward that end.”


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