Dr. Fara Sortomme-Keramati on the drive-in operating complex

‘The Reinier de Graaf Hospital treatment centre is completely customized for our work as eye specialists’

A welcoming entrance, daylight everywhere, a relaxed environment, highly efficient working processes, effortless operations and less stress for the patient.

According to eye specialist Fara Sortomme-Keramati and Head of Ophthalmology Jolanda ’t Hart, those are the fruits of the new drive-in operating complex at the Reinier de Graaf Hospital in Delft. “That we’re located on top of a car park is really brilliant.”


“This is modern surgery, certainly in terms of ophthalmology,” says eye doctor Sortomme-Keramati about the new EGM-designed operating complex, which opened in April 2021. “We carry out a lot of quick procedures such as cataract surgery, for which no narcosis is required. People receive a local anaesthetic and are thus awake during the operation. The more relaxed the patient is, the better and more efficient we can perform the surgery.”


The more relaxed the patient is, the better and more efficient we can perform the surgery


Relaxation due to living room atmosphere

Stress reduction for the patient starts upon arrival. ’t Hart: “People park on the top level of the car park, walk two doors through the treatment centre and take a seat at the open fire. In peace and quiet, in a relaxed and agreeable living room ambiance. The seating areas create a sense of security. The open reception desk in the waiting area increases contact with the patient and stimulates conversation with the companion waiting. The warm and friendly setting reduces stress among patients and those accompanying them.”


Calming colours as sedation

It makes a huge difference to eye doctors if patients are relaxed. Sortomme-Keramati: “When people are very tense, they squeeze their eyes or increase the pressure on them. They also experience more pain. The calming colours with beautiful prints also extend into the operating rooms. All of this generates a level of sedation, a reduction in consciousness without using medicine. That’s very nice. Patients wear their own clothes and take a seat on the treatment chair, and only at the last moment do we recline it into the surgery position. After the procedure the chair returns to the upright position and we wheel them, patient and chair, into the separate eye lounge. They take can recover before heading home with their companion. It is totally different to our previous facility, where we treated people in a hospital atmosphere. ”


The design is totally geared to our work as eye specialists


Quicker changes, more operations

The new OR complex facilitates highly efficient working processes. “The design is totally geared to our work as eye specialists,” explains Sortomme-Keramati. “Previously, we spent more time on the changes than on the operations. Now there is less logistical waste thanks to the shorter lines between waiting area, operating rooms and eye lounge. The increase in efficiency is so big that we are even discussing carrying out narcosis surgery for conditions such as glaucoma and strabismus.”


From dark to daylight

Besides streamlined working processes, the new OR complex offers another huge improvement. ’t Hart: “Eye operations take place in darkened settings, but everything was dark at our previous location, even the corridors and coffee areas.  Here we have daylight everywhere.” Sortomme-Keramati: “The coffee area has large windows that offer a fine view of Delft. It’s wonderful to come out of the operating room and catch something of the day outside.” ’t Hart: “We have advanced in every area. The design successfully incorporates all our wishes. The only thing lacking is soft background music. That would really add the finishing touch.”


Maud van Gennip (copywriter) interviewed Dr. Fara Sortomme-Keramati and Jolanda ’t Hart

Project: Drive-in OR-complex Reinier de Graaf