Five Innovations Helping MSK Transform Outpatient Cancer Surgery in 2016

By Jim Stallard,

Friday, November 20, 2015

Two people in surgical scrubs stand in an operating room underneath large light panels and screens with medical information.

Many surgeries that typically required hospitalization in the past can now be performed on an outpatient basis. MSK’s Josie Robertson Surgery Center (JRSC), which will become fully operative in 2016, is an ultramodern new outpatient and short-stay cancer surgery facility designed to get patients home safely as soon as possible so they can complete their recovery. The JRSC’s innovative features are changing the way outpatient surgery is performed.

  • MSK’s Josie Robertson Surgery Center will transform cancer care.
  • The JRSC’s innovative features will enhance outpatient surgery.
  • The goal is to help patients get home quickly to complete their recovery.

Memorial Sloan Kettering will set a new standard for outpatient cancer surgery with the opening of the Josie Robertson Surgery Center (JRSC), a first-of-its-kind freestanding facility on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in January 2016.

At the 16-story, state-of-the-art building on York Avenue between East 61st and 62nd Streets, patients will have sophisticated outpatient surgical treatments in a comfortable environment designed to allow them to quickly return to their homes to better complete their recovery. The JRSC embodies years of research into just what it takes to provide patients and their families with the safest, most effective, and most personalized outpatient surgical care.

Here are a few of the innovative features of this new facility:

It’s a hospital that feels more like a hotel.

Artist’s rendering of waiting room area which has snack bar and chairs, with shadow figures of people and a view of the 59th St. bridge through window at right rear.

The JRSC is designed for comfort and convenience, with designated areas where family members and caregivers can rest, eat, read, get online, exercise, or have a quiet moment. Our waiting area includes a café, beautiful artwork, abundant natural light, and sweeping views of the East River.

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Operating rooms are designed especially for specific procedures.

Artist’s rendering of empty operating room.

The 12 operating rooms at the JRSC have been equipped to perform specific specialty outpatient procedures, including surgery for breast cancer and reconstruction as well as head and neck, gynecologic, and urologic cancers. The enhanced surgical techniques, which include minimal-access and robot-assisted procedures, will enable patients to go home in the shortest time possible. The operating rooms incorporate the most advanced technology — for example, surgical lights automatically adjust to eliminate shadows where the operation is being performed, and wide-screen, super high-definition monitors are employed for laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Even the room ventilation has been specially designed to direct airflow away from the site of operation to reduce infection risk.

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A real-time location system (RTLS) tracks patients’ activity and simultaneously collects data.

 Enlarged photo of small rectangular electronic device that is worn by patients to track their movement.

This tiny device will allow us to monitor patients’ movement after surgery to ensure their recovery is on track as well as to automate routine data collection and communication so doctors and nurses are free to focus on patients. We will use information gathered by the RTLS to reevaluate our postoperative procedures — always with the aim of improving outcomes. The device also allows patients’ care partners to move freely about the facility rather than feeling tied to the waiting room.

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Common spaces encourage patients to get up and about.

Artist’s rendering of postoperative area for patients with chairs, long table with fruit and juice, and shadow figures of people.

Patients recover faster if they move around soon after surgery. The layout on the postoperative floor will encourage family members and patients to come out of their rooms to walk, socialize, relax, or have a snack. For example, patients won’t receive breakfast in their rooms but will instead go to a buffet in the central “oasis.”  In addition, beautiful artwork on the walls will serve as walking milestones for patients.

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Secure video conferencing will connect patients with their doctors and caregivers during their recovery.

 Photo of nurse sitting on a bed facing the head of the bed and the camera, talking to patient lying down whose back of the head is toward the camera.

In-room technology will allow patients to communicate securely with their doctors after surgery as needed, as well as with their caregivers and loved ones who are off-site.

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It looks and sounds amazing!

Wow ...imagine a world without cancer... but if you get it go to MSKCC!

Wow! I love the idea of making it more inviting to walk around and the technology enhancements are incredible ideas that will surely help save more lives! imagine a world without cancer ...

Very nice - too bad MSKCC keeps throwing me away. Leaving me with no care. I am exhausted from fighting for care. What do you have for that?

LIssa, our Patient Representatives are committed to ensuring that your rights are respected and that your concerns are addressed. We have sent them your concern, and you can contact them directly at 212-639-7202 to discuss this in more detail. Thank you for your comment.

State of the art, as medical doctor I have no idea that it could exist, a future hospital at the present time.
Congratulatios, i hope i could se it


Yesterday I was told by my MSK doctor that the six treatments of kemotherapy for Lymphatic Cancer had successfully made me disease free. I'm now enrolled in a three month for two years program to ensure that the cancer does not come back or if it does come back it is attended to swiftly. The manner with which I am attended to is phenomenal. I am not surprised that MSK is about to open this state of the art facility. MSK is simply the best in the world in curing cancer and taking care of cancer patient's Mind, Body and Soul!!!

Thank you Robert! We are very pleased to hear that you are doing well.

My wife had laparoscopic surgery there last week. A truly amazing facility, my comments to friends were that it felt like an upscale hotel. Valet parked 10 steps from the front door, greeted & welcomed, handed off to the next person who escorted us upstairs to the 3rd floor for registration. We had a scheduled arrival time, as such there was someone waiting for us at check in, escorted us to preop, met by 5 different people one at a time, at the exact time we were scheduled my wife was taken upstairs to surgery and I was shown back to the very comfortable 3rd floor lounge. Surgery was over I was taken to a private meeting room with a couch to meet with the surgeon. My wife was given as much time as she needed to recover, in fact she took 6 hours, thee was nobody rushing us out the door. Everything was so seamless and first class. Between every transition I described we never waited, everything was exactly on time and when we were engaged with any staff member it felt like we were the only ones there, staff was 100% focused. Everyone from the valet, to door person, to security, registration, nurses, doctors were incredible, very professional and very well trained. Made a crappy day much less crappy. MSK is everything we thought it would be and JRSC elevates that image. I truly hope none of you ever have to set foot inside, but if you do, you'll be thankful !!!

Ed, we are thrilled to hear that your wife felt so well cared for. Thank you for your comment!

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