Interview with Luis Torres, the managing director for Cirro Medical Systems representing Operamed for the United States.
Operamed is a company located in Italy that produces prefabricated modular construction systems for operating rooms, ICUs, and other critical areas of a hospital. The company’s comprehensive approach to the creation of specialized environments such as operating rooms, intensive care units, patient rooms, sterilization areas, diagnostic departments, dental clinics, and clean rooms is based on the innovative TrueSpace prefabrication system.
Advantages of the TrueSpace System
With Operamed’s TrueSpace prefabrication system, installation is faster, cleaner, and less disruptive than any traditional drywall and stud construction. Once the space is in full operation, its system offers additional advantages. Luis Torres cites the most important benefit as enhanced infection control.
He explains, “The panels come in different inherently antibacterial materials, like Corian, powder-coated stainless steel, brushed stainless steel, glass, and others. These materials are easy to clean and disinfect.”
Torres continues, “When you add components like integrated monitors behind the walls, then there are fewer areas in the room where bacteria can gather. This provides enhanced infection control, but also allows for a more efficient cleaning process between patients.”
“Future Proofing” with Operamed’s Design
Another advantage of the TrueSpace system is what Torres explains as “future-proofing.” TrueSpace is a screwless system in which a substructure is initially built, and the panels are then hooked on secondarily to the substructure.
Explaining further, Torres says, “Using this type of screwless system allows us to be able to make changes to these rooms in the future easily. You can easily gain access behind the panels and do upgrades or repairs, if necessary, without shutting down any hospital area for long periods.”
Torres expands on the importance of this feature, saying, “Operating rooms are one of the biggest revenue sources for a hospital, so it is vital to avoid closing them for an extensive amount of time.”
Continuing, he states, “With other systems, it could take days, weeks, or even months, to conduct repairs if stick-built walls need to be penetrated to access services behind them. These rooms also need to be enclosed as breaking walls creates dust. Operamed’s panel system is a hooked, screwless system that allows simple panel removal and access to services behind a wall for any repair or maintenance needed. It minimizes shutdowns.”
Providing Enhanced Aesthetic Concepts to Hospitals
Torres explains that Operamed also aims to bring a modern aesthetic concept to the hospital spaces in which it is installed. He says, “We’re not building with these old boring white or yellowish colors. We’re also not building with cold, sterile-looking stainless steel that is becoming popular.”
Instead, the company provides an enhanced color concept to the operating rooms, ICUs, or anywhere it is installed. Printed graphics and glass improve the aesthetics inside the rooms where the clinical staff and patients may spend entire days. Torres says, “This aesthetic feature not only helps the healing process of the patients, but it also helps the staff by providing a good-looking environment where they’re enjoying their work.”
Customizable Solutions to Meet Customer’s Needs
Everything created at Operamed is customized to the needs of the hospital and its critical areas. The entire space, how it’s constructed, where things are located, components on the wall, the colors, the graphics, and which materials the clients want to use; everything is customized according to the needs of the customer.
Torres provides an example of a customized solution for a customer in Ecuador, explaining, “Instead of having room numbers, every room was a different flower name. There was the rose room, the lily room, the tulip room, etc. The concept of the room itself included colors and graphics to match the corresponding flower.”
Continuing, he says, “Operamed was able to work with the hospital’s aesthetic concepts and provide colors and graphics that matched and enhanced the rooms.”
Pushing for Growth During a Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has both positively and negatively impacted Operamed. The company has been in the U.S. market for about three years, two of which were during the COVID pandemic. It halted work in many operating rooms, as most construction stopped during this time. Consequently, this slowed the progress Operamed aimed for in the American market.
However, things have recently begun to pick up again, and the business is on track to close construction in about 40 operating rooms in 2022. Even with a delay in progress, the company has grown and expanded.
Additionally, the pandemic created new opportunities for the business. In Italy, Operamed was able to modularly build over 170 ICU rooms inside convention centers during a crucial time in the pandemic—all within a short six-week timeframe.
It continues to develop its product portfolio and solutions. Its goal is to be able to provide its customers with what Torres calls “advanced construction concepts,” which can include features such as the screwless panel system and a fully room-controlled electronic capable system. In addition, the company is continuing to develop new products that will allow hospitals to be more efficient and technologically advanced.
For the U.S. market, the company is working on developing its own UL-approved doors, lighting, and a touch-based control system so that it can construct the entire area. These innovations will enable the complete line to work not only in critical areas but also in other modularly built spaces, including hallways and bathroom areas.
Torres states, “Operamed is looking to adapt as much as it can so that the company can continue to grow within the American market and provide our customers with the efficient, effective solution of modularity.”
Want to Learn More About Operamed?
Coward Environmental Systems, Inc. is proud to represent Operamed in the Philadelphia region, Central PA, Delaware, and Maryland. Contact us today to discover how Operamed can be a part of your next project.