For years, John Haven and his associates at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine hoped to build a world-class small animal veterinary teaching clinic. Thirteen months after their Nov. 1, 2010 dedication, “and we certainly feel we’ve done that,” Haven said.
The 100,000-square-foot facility has 12 operating rooms, 22 exam rooms, and houses six specialty services – cardiology, surgery, medicine, oncology, emergency medicine, and primary care/dentistry. It boasts state-of-the-art medical devices like a linear accelerator to deliver radiation therapy to cancer patients and rehabilitation equipment to help wounded animals recover.
But perhaps most importantly is that the A/V and IT infrastructure enables the facility to serve more students more efficiently than would have been imaginable just a few years ago.
Imagine the scene: A dog lays on a small operating room table, surrounded by an anesthesiologist, their assistant, two surgeons, and as many veterinary residents that can cram into the scant remaining space.
“There’s not a lot of room,” said Haven, the school’s Director of Medical/Health Administration.
But in Florida’s new facility, an overhead Sony EVI-HD1 camera projects birds-eye-view images of the surgery onto two InFocus monitors in the operating room and can be broadcast throughout the facility – and beyond.
“You could have visual consultation anywhere in the world,”explains Don Marshall, General Manager of Tampa-based Xerox Audio Visual Solutions, who did the installation.
It’s taken a year to fine-tune the $1.3 million system, but Haven says the school is now ready to start sharing those images – recorded and stored in HD with Sony’s ImageCore HD archival system – with surgeons and teaching facilities at remote locations and putting the videos onto iTunes U, the collaborative educational media library.
“Pretty much anything with a digital signal, we can connect to it,” Haven said. “That’s going to be really cool for teaching and sharing.”
Additionally, the A/V system is tied into the school’s electronic medical records system. Surgeons can pull up a patient’s history, and put any combination of X-rays, CT scans, radiology results, and the like onto the two operating room monitors during surgery.
The overall installation also included videoconferencing capabilities in 14 of the building’s 28 classrooms that will help the school save money on travel budgets. That’s welcome news for a public university in hard economic times, and as such, Haven and company didn’t have an infinite budget. They originally hoped to connect even more rooms in the building, for instance, but it wasn’t in the cards.
“Your dreams [are] always more expensive than you can afford when it comes to IT stuff,” Haven said. “You start out with your wish list and then you chop it down a little bit.”
Still, the university couldn’t be happier with the budget-friendly system that may just set the standard for veterinary teaching facilities.
“I think it’s going to become widespread,” Marshall said. “I haven’t seen anything like it before, but we’ve certainly had people come through and look at it.”