Side-by-side images of old MMH operating room and current operating room

The Past, Present and Future of the Operating Rooms at Bayhealth Milford Memorial

Saturday, September 22, 2018 | Bayhealth Sussex Campus
Like many aspects of Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital, the operating rooms have seen significant change over the past 80 years—from their location in the hospital, to the technology and equipment inside, to the services provided.

In 1954, they moved from their original location to a newly constructed wing on the third floor; in 1972, they relocated to a fourth floor suite; and in 1991, they moved to the first floor as part of the new $5 million Outpatient Services and Surgical Center. Over the years, specialties such as orthopaedics emerged and assumed much of the work traditionally done by general surgeons. Technology took off in the 1980’s, bringing with it major advances in laparoscopic surgery, and by the 90’s, changes in other surgical techniques and technology sparked a boom in outpatient surgeries.

Bayhealth Milford Memorial OR Clinical Coordinator Matt Walls, MSN, RN, CNOR, and Orthopaedic Surgeon Stephen Manifold, MD, both note how outpatient surgery and innovative technology have led to shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times. “Back when I started almost 20 years ago, patients undergoing total knee replacements stayed in the hospital three nights; now some can go home the same day,” said Dr. Manifold. “Also, rotator cuff repairs would require overnight stays, and now they’re standard outpatient procedures.”

Dr. Manifold says a greater focus on perioperative care, the use of new multimodal paths to pain management and staff commitment to learning new protocols for accelerating patient rehabilitation also have contributed to faster recoveries. Walls and longtime Bayhealth Milford Memorial OR nurse Gail Geesaman, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA, recall waiting for a radiology tech to process an x-ray in a space similar to a dark room, and agree that digital imaging along with the addition of ASCOMs (the wireless handsets nurses use today) and computer systems such as Epic and Omnicell have improved OR efficiency.

Walls says he’s excited about the new 4k monitors and other equipment that will be in Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus. “All of the monitors will be able to viewed and controlled from one main desk.” The six operating rooms also will be larger—700 square feet versus the current 450 square feet, which Dr. Manifold says will better accommodate equipment, lessen risk of infection and improve workflow.

Visit to learn more about the history of Bayhealth Milford Memorial and the new Bayhealth Sussex Campus.