Southwest Surgical Center

Operating Room Video Routing & Control - Edina, MN


Southwest Surgical Center is an orthopedic medical clinic that provides arthroscopic joint repair and other surgical services. The technology in use at Southwest Surgical is part of an ongoing revolution in operating rooms (ORs) towards minimally-invasive procedures.

Crucial to the trend is the use of the endoscope, an instrument consisting of a tiny video camera and fiber optic light source that’s inserted via a flexible tube into an organ or body system. The endoscope makes it possible to monitor and guide specific, robotic instruments used for the procedure.

The endoscope, in turn, is dependent on the monitoring equipment installed in the operating room. Although federal regulations enforce minimum standards for equipment safety, there’s a lot of variation possible in the sharpness of the images produced and the simplicity of the system’s operation.


Provide outstanding video for surgeons and simplified video routing and control for OR staff during minimally invasive surgery.


CompView has worked in the medical market for a custom-designed video systems for operating rooms. Recently, however, they’ve standardized their offerings under the brand name ORView, in an effort to reduce delivery times and lower costs.

ORView consists of custom software, a control system, transport and switching, medical-grade LCD displays and the hardware to attach the displays to the client’s overhead boom system. ORView also includes a high-end sound system for those surgeons and staff who like to listen to music while they work.

“The great thing about ORView is that we’ve created the software features most useful in a surgical environment,” explains Rodger De George, VP of Business Development for Medical Systems at CompView. The result is a very flexible system that can be scaled and customized to the needs of each surgeon or each type of surgery, simply by turning features on and off and choosing the most appropriate hardware. It’s a big help that digital network technology is scalable as well, so CompView can size the control processor, switcher and other components with little or no change to the software.

At Southwest Surgical, CompView installed a Crestron DigitalMedia network with a 16×16 switcher, a medical-grade monitor for the surgeon’s use, another for the nurses’ use, and a video capture device to record images from the procedure. One of the nurses controls the video system and the room lighting using a 19” medical grade touch screen tied into a Crestron control processor. CompView also installed four auxiliary wall plates, so the surgical team can plug in specialized instruments that may not already be installed in the overhead boom.

Crestron DigitalMedia technology, is especially useful because hospitals and clinics tend to have a lot of legacy instruments that may have SDI, S-video or even composite video outputs. “DM allows us to connect any medical instrument with a video output and provide the best possible images,” says De George. In addition, the twisted-pair network cable standard to DM is easy to install in the limited space in an operating room equipment boom. Its ability to transport and switch high-end audio is a big plus as well.

A nice feature of a Crestron control system is its ability to control a Windows-based computer. That was very helpful at Southwest Surgical because they use specialized software to confirm the patient’s ID, list details of the procedure to be performed and its milestones, all of which the nurse can access and check off right from the touch screen.

Using the Crestron software, CompView programmed the system so that when the team captures an image from the endoscope, it appears briefly, picture-in-picture on the surgeon’s monitor to confirm what was captured. Next, it is saved automatically to the clinic’s PAC [Picture/Archive/Communications] system to become part of the patient’s record.

For their part, the staff at Southwest Surgical are very pleased. “Once the first OR was installed and operating, they came back and asked us to install a similar system in the second,” De George explains. “The video system worked so much better, they saw it as a major advantage for their surgeons.”

Project Summary


Operating room control system (ORView) digital backbone, and digital displays – operating room


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